Former Tenet exec gets probation, fine over kickbacks

Associated Press
August 23, 2006

SAN DIEGO – A former executive of a troubled San Diego hospital owned by Tenet Healthcare Corp. was sentenced to three years’ probation and fined $27,000 for conspiracy in an alleged scheme to give doctors kickbacks for patient referrals.

Mina Nazaryan, 45, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy in 2005 and was sentenced Monday. According to court documents, she admitted that, as associate administrator of Alvarado Hospital Medical Center, she plotted to make illegal payments to doctors disguised as compensation for relocation expenses.

Nazaryan could have spent 27 months in prison under federal sentencing guidelines, but prosecutors asked for leniency because of her cooperation. Nazaryan testified in the first of two trials against Barry Weinbaum, the hospital’s former chief executive, the 306-bed hospital and Dallas-based Tenet.

Both trials ended in hung juries. Tenet settled the federal case against the facility in May by agreeing to pay a $21 million fine and close or sell the hospital by February 2007.

Comments (1)

Current Tenet EmployeeNovember 22nd, 2007 at 8:57 pm

I am a Tenet employee (2007). We are required to annually sit through two hours of “ehtics” training. Tenet tells us that it is because a small number of the hospitals had incorrect billing to Medicare and Medicaid. The things that are spoken of in this website have not been disclosed to us. We may not even do ECT at our facility. They did tell us that Tenet has paid around $900 million in fines and recoupments over the last couple of decades. Again, this was supposedly for incorrect billing. Nothing was said at the training about operating on healthy people, ECT or kickbacks to physicians.
I can also say that in a large room full of people that attended the last “ethics” training session, not one had an overt question. Not one question. The questions that were asked after everyone had left were, rather casually, waived aside by the presenter. We had to sit through a segment of the presentation that discussed the importance of a factual curriculum vitae. After the class had adjourned, a statement was made which alleged that a top Tenet official had fabricated a portion of his/hers. Even this fell on deaf ears.
Tenet probably has someone reading this site on a daily basis. Tenet tells us that everything is now done properly, but that we must still be vigilant in our quest for ethics. Tenet does ask us to leave our names when we call the ethics hotline, so that they can follow-up on the case. It is doubtful that very many employees leave a name. The retribution that you show on this site is enough to silence most people.

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