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HCA posted a four-page letter on the home page of its website Monday, saying the New York Times “appears to be making broad points concerning patient care provided at our company’s affiliated hospitals.” It also says that decisions about the need for some heart procedures are “the subject of much debate in the cardiology community.”

The price of HCA shares fell 4 percent Monday, after the company posted a letter about a possible New York Times story on its website. The stock then rebounded to climb nearly 5 percent in Tuesday afternoon trading, performing better than the broader market.

Jefferies & Co. analyst Arthur I. Henderson said investors think the issue may not be as significant as it seemed at first glance.

Henderson, whose firm has no stake in HCA and does no banking business with them, said the hospital operator has a “very robust” compliance program.


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AP Medical Writer Lindsey Tanner can be reached at


AP Business Writer Tom Murphy contributed to this story.