Nov 20, 2020 in Health

Legal, Ethical Problems And Remedial Action Plans

Healthcare Legal and Ethical Problems and Remedial Action Plans



Like any other organization, a health care institution must follow rules and regulations set by the law. Fraud, overbilling, cases of legal battles between an organization and some clients, and negligence are some of the legal misconducts that Tenet Healthcare Corporation has been involved in. Fraud may occur in any organization and in any industry. In the United States, health care funding differs from other industries mainly because in most cases a patient rarely directly pays for the services provided in the health care setting, be it a simple visit to the doctors office or hospitalization. The way of providing healthcare billing gives an opportunity for a particular type of fraud and other legal issues. To understand how legal issues and their settlement affected Tenet Healthcare Corporation and its attempt to achieve its goals and objectives, the paper discusses in details how legal and ethical issues affect the organization in achieving its goals and objectives (Steinbock, 2009).

At times, though rare, there are cases of legal battles between the Tenet Healthcare Corporation and some clients. Over the years Tenet has had legal battles with its clients, which have made it face numerous penalties in legal settlements. Late April 2012, a report from Reuters said that the organization had agreed to pay almost $43 million to settle allegations that some of its rehabilitation centers had overbilled Federal Medicare for treating patients. In 2005, the organization was also involved in legal misconduct, where it treated inpatients in a federal Medicare, though it had not been qualified for such admissions. It agreed to pay $42.75 million to resolve the allegations. With all these legal expenses, the organization is using funds, which would rather be invested in more beneficial and profitable schemes than paying these penalties. It affects the means through which the organization will follow to meet its goals and objectives. For instance, the organization is forced to overcharge its clients to cover up the money that was used to pay the penalties.

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Tenet Healthcare Corporation, earlier known as National Medical Enterprises (NME), changed its name to the later due to its numerous involvements in legal scuffles. It was in 1990s, when the Corporation was faced with offences of kidnapping patients and overbilling. It went away by paying a bill of $379 million. After this scuffle, it changed its name to Tenet Healthcare Corporation. Changing its name was a good attempt, though cases of legal misconduct are still on the rise. With this kind of reputation the clients lose their confidence with the services offered. There are times when patients fail to get the required treatment and they end up suing the Corporation. Every customer needs to find satisfaction in the services and more so, have a feeling that his or her money has been utilized properly. It is because they are rational consumers.

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Cases of negligence from some professionals have been reported. According to the Tenets goals and objectives, patients should be neglected in no case, and the company should ensure that there is equity in delivery of services. It has not been the case, and the Corporation has seen numerous cases of negligence. Its core value, which includes Transparency, Quality, Integrity, Service, and Innovation, has not been achieved to the fullest. Cases of fraud have been found from 1999 to 2002; their effects have been felt by the company up to date. Companys debts have been on the increase, because they require funds for legal settlement. Tenets legal issues have tied up cash and reduced its operating income significantly (McCosh, 2003).

The organization strives to provide care that is evidence-based, the quality of the services provided are scientifically sound and reflects the best information available. The combination of evidence-based practices into the care delivered is replicated in their performance on the key quality indicators, referred to as core measures by Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Achieving this goal has been difficult due to the ruined reputation and lack of funds since they have been dedicated to settling legal disputes. Cases of fraud have been attributed to three main causes: opportunity, pressure, and rationalization. Past business failures pressurized the organization to pursue for a better status and search for opportunities in the health sector.

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Despite all these legal allegations, Tenet Corporation has employed professionals of the organization that tends to pursue medical ethics guaranteeing a well-built team of professionals focused on the excellence of health care service. Tenet Healthcare Corporation should fully reform its health care services. Unfair compensations on the crimes committed must stop. Executive leaders in the top positions continue to excel despite their unlawful actions. The law must make health care leaders accountable for their institutions effects on the patients and publics health, and make sure they do not get royal, but realistic benefit reasonably related to their establishments performance, including ethical performance. Any health organization should not violate federal or state law by overbilling, providing or administering the unapproved drug or medical device or even neglecting needs of the patients (Mara & Ziegenfuss, 2000).


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