Originally created 08/07/03

Pocket change



Medical group settles heart surgery cases

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Federal prosecutors announced a $54 million settlement Wednesday with Tenet Healthcare Corp. and related businesses as part of its investigation into at least two doctors who allegedly performed unnecessary heart procedures.

U.S. Attorney McGregor Scott said the settlement covers unnecessary heart procedures allegedly performed at Redding Medical Center between 1997 and 2002 that were billed to Medicare, Medicaid and the military's Tricare program.

As part of the settlement, the defendants did not admit liability, but agreed to make changes at the hospital.

Drug maker's profit fell during quarter

FRANKFURT, Germany - German chemical and drug company Bayer said Wednesday that second-quarter net profit fell 56 percent, and added that it couldn't depend on a stronger economy to boost earnings the rest of the year.

The company also renewed a warning that its insurance might not be enough to cover lawsuits over a withdrawn anti-cholesterol drug and a discontinued cold-medicine ingredient.

Net profit in the April-June period fell to euro128 million ($145 million) from euro293 million in the same quarter of 2002. The latter figure was inflated by a euro269 million gain from selling the Agfa-Gevaert photography unit.

AT&T accuses rival of rerouting calls

NEW YORK - AT&T Corp. said Wednesday it had uncovered evidence MCI improperly routed domestic calls placed by the Defense Department, Army and Navy through Canada.

The new allegations by AT&T intensified its claim that MCI, the renamed WorldCom Inc., compromised national security in a bid to avoid paying high access fees.

AT&T said it had recently obtained evidence the diversions were occurring weekly, and sometimes daily. An MCI spokesman did not immediately return a call for comment.

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