A rolling stone may gather no moss, but the Epic Healthcare Group "stones" have gathered some green stuff, it seems.
When HealthTrust-The Hospital Co. completes its purchase of Dallas-based Epic this week, it also acquires a few profitable Epic subsidiaries, informally referred to as the "stones."
The "stones" are contract management companies that as a group represent one of the nation's largest managers of hospital-based specialty units.
Cornerstone Health Management provides geriatric psychiatric, skilled-nursing and subacute services; MileStone Healthcare provides rehabilitation, skilled-nursing and subacute services; and KeyStone HomeHealth Management provides home healthcare services.
Interestingly, revenues and profits for the "stones" aren't segmented out in Epic's public financial statements, but according to Charles L. Allen, MileStone's president and chief executive officer, they're pretty significant.
While the Dallas-based hospital chain reported a net loss of $47 million in fiscal 1993, the three "stone" companies made a profit of about $10 million on revenues of about $100 million, Mr. Allen estimated.
What's in store for the "stones" under HealthTrust's management? "They'll continue to support our growth," Mr. Allen said, adding that at some point, the units may be spun-off in a public offering. For now, the three companies will continue to be based in Dallas.
Nashville, Tenn.-based HealthTrust will pay about $1 billion this week for Epic, a deal that will make it-with a total of 115 hospitals-the nation's second-largest investor-owned chain.
A program worth trumpeting. As freelance artists, many jazz musicians cannot obtain or afford health insurance.
Now they can qualify for free medical care through a new program sponsored by Englewood (N.J.) Hospital and Medical Center. In February, the 520-bed teaching hospital set up a diverse panel of physicians who've agreed to provide free care to jazz musicians in their offices and at the hospital. The program honors the late Dizzy Gillespie, a longtime Englewood resident and patient of the hospital during his battle with pancreatic cancer.
To date, 27 of the hospital's 550 physicians are on the panel, which is directed of Francis Forte, M.D., the hospital's chief of oncology and a jazz musician himself. Ten jazz artists have received medical services worth more than $100,000. Patients in need of care are screened and referred by the Jazz Foundation of America, a New York-based organization that promotes public awareness of the jazz tradition.
Before Mr. Gillespie's death in January 1993, Ellsworth Havens, Englewood's senior vice president of planning and corporate development, spent hours chatting with the jazz legend. As a tribute, they agreed to the creation of the free-care program and the establishment of the Dizzy Gillespie Memorial Fund. The fund will support a new, $5 million cancer institute, named for Mr. Gillespie. The hospital plans to hold a number of fund-raisers, involving jazz music of course.
Going global. Fantastic news, healthcare marketers. A New York-based company is organizing the Global Awards-the first international awards competition for print, radio and video healthcare marketing campaigns.
"At a time when healthcare marketing is undergoing unprecedented scrutiny, the Global Awards seek to serve as a positive force to improve perceptions from inside and outside the industry," according to promotional materials for the first international awards competition for healthcare marketers.
Representatives from about 50 countries-including the United States-are expected to submit examples of effective healthcare marketing campaigns, said Gerald Goldberg, president of New York Festivals, the company responsible for organizing the competition.
A panel of internationally recognized experts in the healthcare field will be on hand to judge all entries in the competition. "Several hundred" entries from around the world are expected to be submitted by the May 12 deadline, he added.
But don't let those numbers intimidate you. Globals will be awarded to winners in 76 separate categories, while "A Global Grand Award" will be given to the highest-scoring winners in an additional six major categories.
One small note: Entry fees for this international competition are $100 for a single entry, $150 for a campaign entry (three single entries) and $250 for a mixed-media campaign entry. Winners will be announced in July.
But don't start working on your acceptance speeches or making travel plans just yet, healthcare marketers. The first Global Awards don't include an awards dinner or ceremony.
However, "we'll probably mount an exhibit (of the awards) which may travel to various advertising centers throughout the world," Mr. Goldberg said.
For more information, call 914-238-4481.
More detractions? For those of you who may be frustrated that the attention being given to the Clinton administration's troubles over the Whitewater affair has been taking away steam from healthcare reform, there may be more scandals in the offing, according to someone who should know-the president himself.
At last week's White House Correspondents' Association dinner in Washington, Mr. Clinton jokingly told the audience of reporters and guests that they should look into "the discrepancy between my actual weight and the weight listed on my driver's license." He also said that he would produce the "seeds from grapes I have eaten in grocery stores" and the results of "secret tests" run on the Astroturf from the back of the pickup truck he owned in Arkansas.
Quotable. Congress is looking at funding healthcare reform through a new series of junk bonds, quips Thomas O. Pyle, chief executive officer of MetLife Health Care. The bond series includes:
The Gore-It would have no interest;
The Stephanopoulos-It would have no maturity;
The Clinton-It would have no principle.
Mr. Pyle spoke at Volpe, Welty & Co.'s healthcare conference in New York last week.