Standard & Poor's Corp. has placed the A- rating of West Palm Beach, Fla.-based Good Samaritan Health Systems on CreditWatch with positive implications, meaning that the rating could be raised to an A. The credit-rating agency's action responds to plans by 279-bed Good Samaritan and 430-bed St. Mary's Hospital, also in West Palm Beach, to form a common parent corporation. The move is viewed as a potential ratings booster for Good Samaritan because the combined organization will have complementary services, economies of scale and improved ability to contract with managed-care insurers. Good Samaritan's A- rating affects $80 million in debt.
A network of seven Kansas City, Mo.-area providers, which was solidified in late March, will operate as Mid-America Health First. The providers include 301-bed Bethany Medical Center and 638-bed St. Luke's Health System (April 4, p. 24). They haven't determined the organizational structure of the network yet, a spokeswoman said. Its official name was drawn from discussions with consumers and employers who wanted a network that put their "health first," she said.
HealthSouth Rehabilitation Corp. said its net income for the second quarter ended June 30 rose 39% to $13.3 million, or 41 cents per share, compared with $9.5 million, or 33 cents per share, during the year-ago period. Revenues soared 106% to $247 million. For the six months, HealthSouth's net income rose 38% to $25.4 million, or 78 cents per share, compared with $18.4 million, or 62 cents per share, in 1992. Revenues climbed 103% to $478 million. In January, HealthSouth completed the purchase of 28 rehabilitation hospitals and 45 outpatient clinics from National Medical Enterprises for $350 million (Jan. 10, p. 14). The deal nearly doubled the size of the Birmingham, Ala.-based rehabilitation company. HealthSouth is the nation's largest provider of rehabilitative healthcare, operating through 325 branches in 30 states.
Abbott Laboratories said its net income rose 8.8% to $377 million, or 46 cents per share, in the second quarter ended June 30, from $346 million, or 42 cents per share, in the year-ago period. Total sales for the Abbott Park, Ill.-based hospital supplier climbed 6.3% to $2.2 billion. In the six months ended June 30, Abbott's net income rose 7.4% to $743 million, or 91 cents per share, from $692 million, or 83 cents per share, in the first half of 1993. Its total sales increased 7.3% to $4.4 billion.
The Cooper Cos., a medical products and psychiatric hospital company, was ordered to pay a $1.8 million fine last week in connection with a scheme to manipulate the price and interest rate of its high-yield bonds. The scheme allegedly involved its former co-chairman, Gary A. Singer. In addition, the company was ordered to make restitution of $1.3 million. Mr. Singer's sentencing is pending. In January, Mr. Singer and the company were found guilty of a variety of mail and wire fraud charges stemming from the scheme. Fort Lee, N.J.-based Cooper operates six psychiatric hospitals in five states.
Community Health Computing, a Houston-based information systems vendor, said last week it completed the acquisition of the assets of DuPont's Houston-based radiology information systems unit (June 6, p. 8). The price of the cash transaction wasn't disclosed. The acquisition adds 198 clients to CHC's current base of 41 radiology-system customers. In a separate development, publicly traded CHC said it closed on a private placement of $2 million in preferred stock.
Yale-New Haven Hospital in New Haven, Conn., made good on a promise recently to make additional investments in outpatient AIDS services by awarding $900,000 to seven community-based AIDS and HIV organizations. The hospital also has invested $1.1 million in its own outpatient AIDS services. Yale-New Haven agreed to invest a total of $2 million in outpatient AIDS care in a deal struck with the Commission of Hospitals and Health Care, the state agency that approved the hospital's certificate of need to build a new children's hospital, which opened this spring. The grants include start-up funding for a skilled-nursing facility for people infected with HIV.