Standard & Poor's Corp. has removed P/SL Healthcare System and Swedish Medical Center from CreditWatch. The two Denver-area healthcare providers have merged and now are known as HealthOne. The ratings on HealthOne's debt have been revised to BBB+, reflecting the system's favorable market position, but that's offset by its heavy debt load. Previously, Swedish was rated A and P/SL was rated BBB.
Ken Bauer is out again as president of the 436-bed Hinsdale (Ill.) Hospital, where the hospital's board and parent board have been fighting about the facility's direction. This time, Mr. Bauer, 42, announced last week he is resigning as the hospital's president after seven years. The Hinsdale Health System Board fired Bauer on Dec. 7, but the hospital board hired him back (Jan. 10, p. 29). The Seventh-day Adventist Church, which owns the health system, stepped in during several meetings in the past month in an unsuccessful effort to reconcile both sides. "My ability to function in a professional and effective manner has been impinged," Mr. Bauer said in a written statement.
Kenneth G. Hermann has resigned from his position as vice president for accreditation services at the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Care Organizations. Mr. Hermann, 55, who had been with the commission since 1989, will stay on as a consultant and resigned for "personal reasons," a commission spokeswoman said.
The Multicare Companies and Providence Health Care have agreed to merge in a deal worth about $30 million. As part of the deal, which has been approved by the boards of directors at both companies, a subsidiary of Multicare will purchase all outstanding shares of Providence's common stock for $7.50 per share. The deal still needs the approval of regulatory agencies and shareholders. Hackensack, N.J.-based Multicare operates 36 nursing facilities nationwide. Cleveland-based Providence operates 16 facilities.
Batesville, Ind.-based Hill-Rom has won a five-year contract to supply patient and critical-care beds to members of American Healthcare Systems. The contract is valued at $200 million. San Diego-based AmHS represents more than 1,000 healthcare facilities nationally. Last year, Hill-Rom and its sister company, Charleston, S.C.-based Support Systems International, signed another large contract to supply beds to members of Magnet. The contract is valued at $400 million over seven years. Harrisburg, Pa.-based Magnet represents more than 800 hospitals in the Northeast and Midwest. Hill-Rom and SSI, which makes specialty beds, are subsidiaries of Hillenbrand Industries.
Some drug companies reportedly are considering the possibility of pooling their products to sell as a package to hospital purchasing groups and other large buyers. Such a move could give the companies more power when they negotiate contracts. The possibility of a marketing alliance between major drug companies was mentioned at a Pfizer conference for securities analysts last week in New York. However, antitrust concerns and disagreements among firms could block cooperation, Pfizer's chairman noted.
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation said its grants to charities rose 12% to $262.2 million for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31. One of every four dollars went to healthcare programs. Since its founding in 1930, the Battle Creek, Mich.-based foundation has distributed $2.1 billion.
United HealthCare Corp. said it has agreed to purchase Focus Healthcare Management, a Nashville, Tenn.-based medical and disability management company. Terms of the agreement weren't disclosed. Minnetonka, Minn.-based United, which operates a variety of managed-care companies, said it wanted to expand its operations in workers' compensation services. Focus, which employs 350 workers in six regional offices, had 1992 revenues of $17.6 million.