Fifty-five hospitals in 21 states, including one in the St. Louis area, have agreed to pay $34 million to the U.S. government to settle allegations that they used more expensive inpatient procedures rather than outpatient spinal surgeries to get bigger payments from Medicare.
The Justice Department announced the settlement Tuesday over kyphoplasty procedures used to treat spinal fractures usually caused by osteoporosis.
Des Peres Hospital in west St. Louis County has agreed to pay $900,000 to satisfy its part of the settlement.
The nurses say they want to meet with management over on-going concerns about patient care standards. Things like staffing, equipment and supply issues and matters of overall policies and procedures at the two facilities.
The pickets are part of a National Day of Action of Tenet nurses from around the country to support their call for fair collective bargaining contracts and the respect reflected in a just labor agreement.