Tenet to close 232-bed Phoenix hospital


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Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare will close Abrazo Maryvale Campus, a 232-bed hospital in Phoenix, by the end of the year.

The hospital is closing primarily because of dwindling patient volumes, said Frank Molinaro, market CEO for Abrazo Community Health Network, which encompasses six acute care hospitals.

“Over the past several years Abrazo Maryvale has experienced a significant decline in community demand for its services,” said Mr. Molinaro. “The Abrazo Community Health Network’s top priority is delivering high-quality, cost-effective care to residents of the greater Phoenix area, and we are properly allocating our resources to meet our patients’ and our communities’ healthcare needs.”

Although the hospital will remain open until Dec. 18, it will no longer admit patients after Dec. 1. “We will assist patients and their physicians in transitioning their care to other Abrazo Network facilities or the healthcare provider of their choice,” said Mr. Molinaro.

Officials said the closure of Abrazo Maryvale should not impact the community’s access to care, as there are four acute care hospitals and 11 urgent care centers within the 6-mile area surrounding Abrazo Maryvale.

The closure of the hospital will affect around 300 employees. All Abrazo Maryvale employees who are in good standing will receive priority for open positions within Abrazo Community Health Network and its affiliated partners, said Mr. Molinaro.

Tenet, Abrazo Maryvale’s parent company, is exploring a number of strategic options, including the sale of assets, divisions or the entire company. The 77-hospital chain ended the second quarter of this year with a net loss of $56 million, compared to a net loss of $44 million in the same period of the year prior. Tenet will release its earnings for the third quarter in November.

DOJ: Personal trainer posed as physician in $25M scheme


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A 54-year-old personal trainer was arrested in Fort Worth, Texas, Oct. 12, and charged with engaging in a scheme to defraud insurance companies by submitting more than $25 million in false claims for medical services, according to the Department of Justice.

The government claims David Williams, the personal trainer, identified himself as “Dr. Dave” on his website and said he offered in-home fitness training and therapy. Mr. Williams’ website stated he accepted most health insurance plans, according to the DOJ.

To bill health insurance companies for his fitness and exercise training services, Mr. Williams allegedly registered as a healthcare provider with CMS and then billed insurance companies as if he were a physician. He allegedly used different names to enroll as a healthcare provider at least 19 times.

The government alleges Mr. Williams used inaccurate codes to bill for the services he and his staff provided, and he sometimes billed for services that had not been provided.

From November 2012 through August 2017, Mr. Williams submitted $25 million in false claims to UnitedHealthcare, Aetna and Cigna, and he was paid more than $3.9 million in relation to those claims.

If proven guilty, Mr. Williams faces up to 10 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine.