The only two hospitals in Williamsport, Pa., have settled charges that their creation of a common parent corporation would violate federal antitrust laws. In a draft complaint filed May 24 with the U.S. District Court in Harrisburg, Pa., the state of Pennsylvania said the deal involving 260-bed Williamsport Hospital and Medical Center and 180-bed Divine Providence Hospital would give the hospitals a monopoly in Williamsport and control of three of the four hospitals in Lycoming County, Pa. Divine Providence's parent corporation also operates a 51-bed hospital in the county. Under the settlement, the hospitals agreed to generate at least $40 million in savings over the first five years of the consolidation or pay the state any amount that falls short of the $40 million. The state would use the money to help fund community healthcare programs in the county.
An order of Franciscan nuns has agreed to sell St. Alexis Hospital Medical Center in Cleveland. The buyer is Primary Health Systems of King of Prussia, Pa. Terms of the deal for the 110-year-old building were not disclosed. Lawrence Leaman, St. Alexis' president, said the 136-bed, not-for-profit hospital had lost about $6.5 million during the past five years. The occupancy rate last year was 40%. He said the sisters could no longer support the facility. The hospital is one of nine operated in the United States by the Sisters of St. Francis Health Services. Steve Volla, chairman of Primary Health, said the company hopes to form a primary-care hospital-and-physician network, which would include internists, family practitioners and pediatricians.
New Hampshire's first and largest HMO said it plans to merge with the largest HMO in New England. Nashua, N.H.-based Matthew Thornton Health
Care Plan and Harvard Community Health Plan said they will combine forces to create an insurer with more than 700,000 enrollees. Matthew Thornton is affiliated with the Hitchcock Clinic in Lebanon, N.H. Harvard, based in Brookline, Mass., has 565,000 enrollees in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New Hampshire and already is New England's largest HMO. Matthew Thornton has about 105,000 enrollees in New Hampshire and parts of Vermont.-Associated Press
Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corp. filled its final senior management position last week when it named Medical Care America executive Donald Steen president of its western group. That region includes 14 hospitals in Colorado, Utah, Arizona, Nevada and California. Mr. Steen, 47, joins Columbia/HCA's management team after serving for six years as president and chief executive officer at Medical Care America. Columbia/HCA purchased Dallas-based Medical Care-the nation's largest outpatient surgery operator-last month in a stock swap valued at $858 million (May 30, p. 8). He will operate Columbia/HCA's western group from Dallas. Mr. Steen is one of Columbia/HCA's five group presidents.
In a sudden move, J. Rock Tonkel resigned as president and chief executive officer of St. Vincent's Hospital and Medical Center in New York, effective last week. He was replaced by Karl P. Adler, M.D., dean of New York Medical College in Valhalla, N.Y. Mr. Tonkel had held the top post at St. Vincent's since April 1990. In recent months, leaders of St. Vincent's and New York's Cabrini Medical Center have been in negotiations to integrate the two organizations.
National Health Laboratories reduced its offer for Allied Clinical Laboratories to $21.50 per share from $23 because it learned that possible billing problems at Allied's Cincinnati laboratory might be more serious than originally thought. The offer will expire June 21. In April, HHS subpoenaed the laboratory for documents related to cancer-screening tests for Medicare patients. Nashville, Tenn.-based Allied and La Jolla, Calif.-based NHL are among several laboratory chains subpoenaed last year in a broader HHS probe of the $30 billion industry. Their merger would create a company with 27 regional laboratories and nearly $923 million in annual revenues (May 9, p. 16). Allied manages 65 laboratories for hospitals, physician clinics and other healthcare facilities.