CAREMARK INTERNATIONAL HAS changed its tune. After vowing vindication in court, the home health-care company said on Jan. 3 that it's negotiating a settlement with the Justice Dept. and the Inspector General of the Health & Human Services Dept., which have long been investigating the company. Caremark was indicted last August for allegedly paying kickbacks in the form of "research grants" to a Minnesota physician who referred patients to Caremark's home-health-care business. Chairman Lance Piccolo says Caremark still could beat the rap, but a lengthy trial would hurt business.

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