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SEC investigates HCA on nurse charges

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The world’s largest hospital company, HCA, might be facing another brush with the law. The Washington Post reports the Securities and Exchange Commission is looking into charges that HCA improperly accounted for tens of thousands of nursing shifts at its hospitals. Marketplace’s Washington bureau chief John Dimsdale reports.


John Dimsdale: The focus of the SEC’s investigation is on HCA’s subsidiary in England. A former payroll administrator is accusing the company of falsely applying for nearly $4 million worth of nursing work that was never performed at six U.K. hospitals. The company says the allegations are unfounded and is cooperating with the SEC.

Back in 2003, HCA paid $1.7 billion to the U.S. government to settle fraudulent insurance claims. It was the largest penalty ever imposed on a health-care company. The new investigation in London appears to be unrelated to the previous case.

The SEC won’t comment on its inquiries or on what penalties HCA might face if the company is found guilty.

In Washington I’m John Dimsdale for Marketplace.

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