The federal investigation of Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corp. expanded to Las Vegas on Wednesday when state and federal agents conducted a search of Sunrise Medical Center, Nevada's biggest hospital.
Agents from the state's Medicaid fraud division and the FBI conducted a search of the Columbia-owned hospital in connection with a criminal investigation of the facility, Nevada Atty. Gen. Frankie Sue Del Poppa confirmed.
Nevada has been investigating the Las Vegas facility since last year, when a former Sunrise vice president claimed that he had "committed a felony every day" while employed there and accused the hospital company of widespread improprieties and illegal behavior.
The allegations of the former executive, Mark Gardner, were detailed in The Times in September.
Nashville-based Columbia/HCA, the nation's largest hospital chain, is the target of a broad federal criminal investigation into suspected Medicare fraud. It is also under investigation for Medicaid fraud in several states and by federal regulators looking into possible violations of U.S. securities laws. California has been monitoring the investigations in other states. Columbia owns 15 hospitals and other health-care facilities throughout California.