|American Medical International, the Dallas-based for-profit hospital chain, said late last week that it has signed a letter of intent to acquire St. Francis Hospital, a 587-bed not-for-profit institution in Memphis, Tenn. Terms of the deal, expected to be completed by May, weren't disclosed. Included in the transaction are a 197-bed nursing home, two medical office buildings and a family practice residency center, all owned by St. Francis. At least three suitors had been courting St. Francis, including Methodist Hospitals of Memphis.
|Financial returns from OrNda HealthCorp's two Florida hospital acquisitions boosted the company's results for the first quarter ended Nov. 30, 1993. Nashville, Tenn.-based OrNda reported profits were up 242% to $4.2 million, or 20 cents per share, compared with $1.2 million, or 5 cents per share, in the year-ago period. Revenues rose 28% to $185.6 million. The results included two 1993 acquisitions, Florida Medical Center in Fort Lauderdale and Golden Glades Regional Medical Center in Miami. OrNda is merging with two other hospital chains, American Healthcare Management, King of Prussia, Pa., and Summit Health, Burbank, Calif., to form a chain of 48 hospitals in 17 states.
|Ed Bertz, 66, the American Hospital Association's longtime vice president for personal membership, unexpectedly announced his retirement last week. His departure comes at a time when the organizational relationships between the AHA and its 15 personal membership groups are in flux (Dec. 20-27, 1993, p. 14). The association announced the retirement internally on Jan. 10 and appointed Jim McLarney to temporarily fill Mr. Bertz' position effective Jan. 17. The AHA said a national search for a permanent replacement will take place. Mr. McLarney directs the AHA's health facilities management division.
|Executives of two national trade organizations for physician group practices, Englewood, Colo.-based Medical Group Management Association and Alexandria, Va.-based American Group Practice Association, last week said they are moving ahead with discussions that may result in some form of affiliation or merger. Both organizations confirmed information learned by MODERN HEALTHCARE concerning "serious discussions on both sides exploring ways in which to collaborate at various levels and reduce duplicate services," said Donald W. Fisher, AGPA's executive vice president and chief executive officer.
|Clifton Gaus, senior adviser for health reform at HHS, is expected to be nominated as the new administrator of the Public Health Service's Agency for Health Care Policy and Research. He reportedly will replace Jarrett Clinton, M.D., who has been reassigned to other duties, according to an internal AHCPR memo circulating in Washington. Mr. Gaus served in the Nixon, Ford and Carter administrations and worked as a healthcare consultant and policy researcher. A spokesman for the Public Health Service wouldn't comment on the memo.
|Companies that have employees with high-risk health habits can save millions in corporate medical costs if those employees modify their lifestyles to change those habits, according to a new study of workplace exercise and wellness programs by the fitness research center of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. The study, which is in its ninth year, involves 4,000 employees of Steelcase, a Grand Rapids, Mich.-based office furniture manufacturer. The assessments focused on controllable factors, such as smoking and diet, that frequently lead to health risks such as high blood pressure and excessive levels of cholesterol. Average annual medical claims were $537 per employee in 1988-1990, compared with $1,155 in 1985-1987, the study found.
|With Aetna Government Health Plans' scheduled takeover of the Department of Defense's managed-care plans in California and Hawaii less than three weeks away, the Pentagon last week sent a team to review the situation amid growing concerns that Aetna won't have its system in place in time. Several beneficiary groups sent letters to Defense Secretary Les Aspin last week asking that he review the situation, urging that he extend the contract of the current intermediary, Foundation Health, until the review is complete.