Like the sword above Damocles' head, Tenet Healthcare
Now that's finished.
Tenet announced on Thursday that it has reached a master settlement in which it will pay $725 million to the government, waive another $175 million that the government owed the company, and pay an additional $36 million. That's a grand total of $936 million, but that's not exactly the full story. That $175 million in "waived fees" was never booked as revenue or a receivable. What's more, the settlement will be tax-deductible.
As if the tax-deductible part weren't strange enough, it gets even weirder. In the settlement, Tenet admits no wrongdoing. The payments the company is making are for inflated charges, kickbacks, and patient upcoding . and it doesn't have to admit wrongdoing? I'm not a lawyer, so maybe the deal had to be done this way -- maybe the government would have been obligated to pursue additional penalties without that clause. Either way, it buries the needle on my weirdness meter.
In a separate announcement, the company said that it's also selling an additional 11 hospitals. This is unrelated to the settlement -- unlike the issue in San Diego, where it has to close or sell a hospital as part of a different settlement -- and should generate somewhere around $250 million to $275 million in proceeds, with the midpoint of that range being pretty attainable, in my view. These were, on the whole, money-losing locations in places such as southern Florida, Louisiana, and Philly.
With this huge issue removed, Tenet can now continue moving forward. After all, HCA
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