A former senior executive at Tenet Healthcare was indicted for allegedly participating in a $400 million scheme to defraud the federal government, state Medicaid programs and prospective Tenet patients, according to the Department of Justice. John Holland, who served as a senior vice president of operations for Tenet’s Southern States Region and as CEO of North Fulton Medical Center in Roswell, Ga., was charged with causing bribes and kickbacks to be paid in exchange for patient referrals to four Tenet hospitals in Georgia and South Carolina. As we reported in October, Tenet, North Fulton Medical Center and Atlanta Medical Center agreed to pay approximately $514 million plus another $3 million in related expenses to settle criminal charges and civil claims in connection with these kickbacks.
Walgreens Boots Alliance and Rite Aid Corp. revised their merger agreement, extending the deadline for completing the transaction to July 31, 2017, and lowering the price that Walgreens will pay for Rite Aid stock by at least $2 per share. The purchase price Walgreens ultimately will pay if the transaction is completed depends on how many pharmacy stores will need to be divested to obtain regulatory approval. Tentatively, Walgreens now believes it may need to sell off as many as 1,200 Rite Aid stores, or 200 more than originally anticipated. When the deal was first announced in October 2015, Walgreens agreed to a price of $9 per share, or a “total enterprise value of approximately $17.2 billion, including acquired net debt.”
HCA Holdings reported net income of $920 million for the fourth quarter of 2016, an increase of 58 percent compared with the previous year’s fourth quarter. Year-over-year revenue was up 3.8 percent for the quarter, at $10.64 billion. The Nashville, Tenn.-based hospital operator attributed the increases in part to higher patient volumes, including same-facility admissions, same-facility emergency department visits and inpatient surgeries. Proceeds from the sales of facilities and an appellate court decision that reduced an ordered payment by $246 million also boosted the company’s quarterly financials. HCA had revenue of $41.49 billion and net income of $2.89 billion in 2016, up from $39.68 billion and $2.13 billion, respectively, in 2015.
Merck & Co Inc. shared information about its drug pricing practices for the last seven years in a “transparency” report that discloses average price increases across the company’s U.S. drug and vaccine portfolio collectively, but not for individual products. The largest year-over-year increase in list price was 10.5 percent in 2014, and the smallest was 7.4 percent in 2010. The largest year-over-year increase in net price—which takes into account rebates and discounts to insurers, pharmacy benefit managers and distributors—was 6.2 percent in 2012, and the smallest was 3.4 percent in 2010. The average discount from Merck’s list prices has steadily risen from 27.3 percent in 2010 to 40.9 percent in 2016.
The world’s largest medical devices company, Medtronic Plc, is considering selling some or all of its medical supplies business, Bloomberg reported, citing “people familiar with the matter.” The unnamed sources said the unit, which includes monitoring equipment, medical instruments and more, could be worth as much as $5 billion.