Top news of the day from across the health care landscape.
A former senior executive of Tenet Healthcare Corp has been accused for his alleged participation in a fraud scheme, according to The New York Times. The US Department of Justice said the indictment for John Holland was filed in Miami’s federal court for 4 counts of mail fraud, health care fraud, and major fraud against the United States. Between 2000 and 2013, Holland allegedly engaged in a scheme to pay more than $12 million in bribes and other illegal inducements to the owners and operators of clinics in Georgia and South Carolina, the Times reported. The clinics provided prenatal care to Hispanic women who were mostly undocumented, referred patients to Tenet hospitals, and arranged for services to be provided to patients and their newborns at Tenet hospitals, according to the Times. Overall, the alleged scheme allowed Tenet hospitals to fraudulently bill Georgia and South Carolina Medicaid Programs for more than $400 million, and obtained more than $149 million in Medicare and Medicaid funds.
Hormone blockers used in combination with radiation therapy improves the survival of men with prostate cancer, The New York Times reported. More than 30% of men who undergo surgery have a recurrence of the disease. The results of a new study showed that 76.3% of men who received radiation and hormonal treatment were still alive after 12 years compared with 71.3% who received radiation alone. Additionally, men who received both treatments were less likely to die from prostate cancer (58% versus 13.4%, respectively) after 12 years, or have the cancer metastasize (14.5% versus 23%). The study authors are hopeful their findings will improve prostate cancer treatment in the future.
Two physicians allegedly overprescribed fentanyl to obtain $40 million in illicit profit, according to The Wall Street Journal. The abuse of fentanyl, which is more potent than heroin, has contributed to the growing opioid epidemic. A criminal trial of Dr John Couch and Dr Xiulu Ruan revealed deep ties between the physicians and fentanyl-maker Insys Therapeutics Inc, the Journal reported. The 2 physicians made millions by overprescribing the pain medication and dispensing fentanyl to patients from their pharmacy, which they co-owned and operated from the back of one of their pain clinics, according to the Journal.