Originally created 11/07/02

Business briefs

Tenet Healthcare under investigation

LOS ANGELES - The federal government is investigating whether Tenet Healthcare Corp. hospitals overbilled Medicare millions of dollars for costly procedures, the company announced Wednesday.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will audit Tenet's accounts at several hospitals. The probe was triggered by an insurance company reporting concerns over billings for a higher-than-average number of procedures, such as heart surgeries, that qualify for special payments.

The so-called "outlier" payments are meant to reimburse hospitals for expenses over and above the flat fee Medicare pays for certain conditions.

Adelphia sues former accountants

PHILADELPHIA - Adelphia Communications sued its former accountants Wednesday, accusing Deloitte & Touche of failing to report "self-dealing and financial chicanery" by founder John J. Rigas and family members that sent the nation's sixth largest cable television company spiraling into bankruptcy.

The lawsuit accused Deloitte of professional negligence and breach of its contract with Adelphia.

"These wrongful acts resulted in billions of dollars in damages to the company - damages which were preventable if Deloitte had acted consistently with its professional responsibilities as Adelphia's outside auditor," the lawsuit said.

Dupont acquires ChemFirst

JACKSON, Miss. - DuPont jumped into the integrated circuit fabrication business Wednesday when it acquired electronic chemicals supplier ChemFirst Inc. in a $408 million cash deal.

All of ChemFirst's executives at its Jackson headquarters have resigned, and that office will be closed. Some of the remaining 50 employees will be offered jobs elsewhere with Dupont, said James McCarthur, ChemFirst's manager of investor relations.

DuPont's stock was up 76 cents to close at $43.31 Wednesday on the New York Stock Exchange. ChemFirst's stock gained a penny to $29.19, just shy of DuPont's $29.20 per share tender.


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