Ex-Tenet Healthcare executive accused by U.S. of fraud

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By Nate Raymond

<span class="articleLocation”>A former senior executive of Tenet Healthcare
Corp has been indicted on charges that he participated
in a scheme to pay bribes for patient referrals, enabling the
U.S. hospital chain to fraudulently bill state Medicaid programs
for $400 million.

John Holland, a former senior vice president, was charged in
an indictment filed in federal court in Miami with four counts
of mail fraud, health care fraud and major fraud against the
United States, the U.S. Justice Department said on Wednesday.

The charges came after Dallas-based Tenet and two of its
Atlanta-area units reached a settlement with the Justice
Department and agreed to pay more than $513 million to resolve
criminal charges and civil claims in a related settlement.

“These charges underscore our continued commitment to
holding both individuals and corporations accountable for their
fraudulent conduct,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General
Kenneth Blanco said in a statement.

Holland, 60, of Dallas, pleaded not guilty during a court
hearing in Miami. Richard Deane, his lawyer, said he believed “the company’s resolution should have ended the matter.”

“Mr. Holland is not guilty and we now look forward to
presenting this case to a jury,” Deane said in a statement.

Prosecutors said Holland beginning in 2000 was chief
executive of Tenet-owned North Fulton Medical Center Inc in
Roswell, Georgia, and served as senior vice president of
operations for Tenet’s southern states region from 2006 to 2013.

The indictment said that from 2000 to 2013, Holland and
others engaged in a scheme to pay over $12 million in bribes and
other illegal inducements to the owners and operators of a firm
that operated clinics in Georgia and South Carolina.

In exchange, the clinics, which provided prenatal care to
mostly undocumented Hispanic women, referred patients to Tenet
hospitals and arranged for services to be provided to patients
and their newborns at Tenet hospitals.

Prosecutors said Holland sought to conceal the scheme by
circumventing internal accounting controls and falsifying

Prosecutors said the scheme enabled Tenet hospitals to
fraudulently bill the Georgia and South Carolina Medicaid
Programs for over $400 million, and allowed Tenet to obtain more
than $149 million in Medicaid and Medicare funds.

The indictment said Holland also made false statements to
the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of
Inspector General about its compliance with the terms of a 2006
agreement reached as part of an earlier settlement.

The case is U.S. v. Holland, U.S. District Court, Southern
District of Florida, No. 17-cr-20054. (additonal reporting by Eric Beech in Washington)

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