Former Tenet executive asks judge to toss $400M fraud case

John Holland, a former executive at Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare, has asked a Georgia judge to throw out a case brought against him in 2017, according to an Oct. 27 report from Law360

Mr. Holland previously served as senior vice president of operations for Tenet's Southern States Region and as CEO of North Fulton Medical Center in Roswell, Ga. In October 2016, Tenet paid $514 million in settlements to resolve allegations it paid kickbacks for patient referrals. 

However, the Justice Department brought separate charges against Mr. Holland in February 2017, alleging he sidestepped Tenet's accounting controls to pay illegal kickbacks to clinics in Georgia and South Carolina, which in turn referred pregnant patients on Medicaid to Tenet hospitals. This allowed Tenet to bill Medicaid more than $400 million, according to the Justice Department. 

Other defendants in the case are WIlliam Moore, former vice president of operations for Tenet and CEO of Atlanta Medical Center — when it was under Tenet's operation — and Edmundo Cota, CEO of a company that operated clinics for predominantly undocumented women, according to Law360. Prosecutors claim Tenet paid $12 million in kickbacks to one of Mr. Cota's clinics, Clinica de la Mama, to ensure his patients gave birth at Tenet hospitals between 2000 and 2013. 

Mr. Holland and Mr. Cota filed motions to dismiss the case on Oct. 24 and Oct. 25, respectively. Mr. Holland said prosecutors used "tactical maneuvering" to delay trial since the case was transferred from Florida to Georgia in 2017, which violates the Speedy Trial Act, according to Law360.  

Mr. Holland also said his ability to work has been stifled by the six-year case, Law360 reported. Mr. Cota said the length of the trial has made it difficult to identify witnesses for a defense — many of the undocumented mothers who receive care at his clinics do not have Social Security numbers, making them hard to track down eight to 12 years after they received care. And according to Mr. Holland, some of his key witnesses have died and others' memories have faded. 

"Mr. Holland has waited almost six years to go to trial," his dismissal motion said. "This is after being told over eight years ago that he was the target of a government investigation involving core conduct that took place over 21 years ago."

The defendants attempted to get the case dismissed in 2018 but were unsuccessful, according to Law360. The trial date is set for late January. 

Copyright © 2023 Becker's Healthcare. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Cookie Policy. Linking and Reprinting Policy.


Featured Whitepapers

Featured Webinars