January 07,2004

Grassley on the Whistleblower Payment in Tenet Cardiac Surgery False Claims Case


To: Reporters and Editors
Re: Whistleblower Award in Tenet Case
Da: Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2004

Sen. Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Committee on Finance, today made the following comment on the award of $8.1 million under the False Claims Act to the two whistleblowers who brought the complaint alleging unnecessary cardiac surgeries at the Tenet Healthcare Corporation’sRedding Medical Center in Redding, Calif. Grassley was the Senate author of the 1986 qui tamwhistleblower amendments to the False Claims Act. Enforcement of the False Claims Act and itswhistleblower provisions has returned more than $10 billion to the U.S. Treasury since 1986.

“Throughout my career, through a lot of oversight investigations, whistleblowers have beenthe key. The False Claims Act continues to work in many important ways. Unfortunately, there aretoo many corporate officers and directors who place profits ahead of patient care. Fortunately, thereare still courageous whistleblowers who care enough to expend their time, energy and resources,often at great personal cost to themselves, to see that the right thing gets done. Without thewhistleblowers in this case, the public might never have heard the very serious charges ofwidespread, unnecessary cardiac surgery at Tenet’s Redding Medical Center. I hope this case willencourage other potential whistleblowers across the country to perform a public service and comeforward about the fraud and abuse they’re in a unique position to see.”