Saturday, October 18, 2008

Dog Food Meet Dog Food, Jeb Bush Joins Tenet Health

Two years after Tenet Healthcare settled three causes of action with the State of Florida for $7 million, ex-Florida Governor John Ellis "Jeb" Bush joined the hospital company's Board of Directors. The spot, created specifically for Jeb, will pay $474,500 for his first year's service.

The Bush family's dog food status is reflected in President George W. Bush's dismal approval ratings. How did Tenet achieve their sordid reputation? Tenet's 10-K legal updates go on for pages. Here are a few highlights, along with news additions:

1. The company paid $395 million in settlements related to Redding Medical Center, a cardiac surgery mill in California. (4th quarter 2004)

2. They settled a securities lawsuit for $215 million. Their Directors & Officers Liability insurance picked up only $75 million, meaning most of the liability fell outside insurable, i.e, ethical behavior. (January 2006)

3. Tenet paid the government $900 million for alleged unlawful billing practices in Medicare and Medicaid. (July 2006)

4. The Securities and Exchange Commission has an open investigation into Tenet's accounting and financial statement representation.

5. Memorial Medical Center and lessee LifeCare Hospitals had the largest patient death toll post Hurricane Katrina. (August 2005) Their annual report mentions three medical malpractice lawsuits. Tenet is challenging the class action nature of these suits.

6. Tenet settled its liability with LifeCare in an undisclosed agreement. Contrast Tenet's action with HCA, who chartered 20 medical evacuation helicopters to transfer patients from its powerless facilities. Staff and patients suffered for four days in a dead Memorial facility. (2006)

7. The White House Lessons Learned report made no, as in zero, mention of the 34 patient deaths at Memorial Medical Center of LifeCare Hospital of New Orleans. LifeCare had 24 of the total, Tenet 10. (January 2006)

8. LifeCare Hospitals was purchased by The Carlyle Group weeks before Katrina struck. (August 2005) Carlyle, a huge private equity underwriter (PEU), has its deep connections to the Bush brand.

Bush Chow, Tenet Chunks, or PEU Bits? You choose, but they're all the same flavor...