Thursday, September 21, 2006

Are The Carlyle Group & Tenet Healthcare Next?

A grand jury indicted the owners of St. Rita’s Nursing Home on charges of negligent homicide and cruelty to the infirmed for the deaths of 35 patients post Hurricane Katrina. Another facility lost virtually the same number of patients, Memorial Hospital in New Orleans. LifeCare’s unit within Memorial lost 24 patients while in the main hospital 21 patients died. Tenet said 11 of their 21 expired prior to the hurricane’s strike for a net 34 patients lost.

Will LifeCare’s owners, The Carlyle Group, and Memorial’s parent, Tenet Healthcare face similar charges? Tenet has since sold the facility while LifeCare plays hands off on the possible patient euthanasia that occurred on their patients. The legal paperwork against Dr. Ana Pou and two Memorial nurses indicates LifeCare employees did not take proper steps to protect their patients from non-LifeCare clinicians.

The White House Lessons Learned report did a non-investigation into the handling of nursing home and hospital patients both pre and post storm. The Carlyle Group’s LifeCare and Tenet got not one mention in the report despite 34 patient deaths. I finally ran across a much better documentation of what happened.

After Katrina, The Urban Institute’s report is what I expected from an investigation. The White House report is a white wash. Carlyle and Tenet are likely thankful for that.

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