The Health Insurance Association of America last week unveiled the next round of "Harry and Louise" television ads, featuring the fictional couple worrying about healthcare reform. The ads will run for two weeks in 11 cities and the District of Columbia. The group said it will spend $2 million on the campaign. The ads attack the bill passed last month by the House Ways and Means Committee, which would expand Medicare to cover the uninsured, and a Senate Finance Committee bill provision that would tax high-priced health insurance plans.
The American Hospital Association has created a health statistics advisory panel to help it revamp its healthcare data collection and release services and policies. One goal of the new three-member panel will be to recommend ways the AHA can "actively disseminate information to influence a variety of audiences." The panel also is charged with helping the AHA foster a national consensus on statistical needs under a reformed national healthcare system.
Community Health Systems has received early clearance from the Federal Trade Commission for its $136 million acquisition of Hallmark Healthcare Corp. In June, Community agreed to buy the Atlanta-based chain of 18 hospitals in nine states in a deal that is expected to be completed in late September or early October. The Houston-based chain of 20 hospitals in 12 states last week also reported its second-quarter earnings, which showed a boost in operating profit margin to 23.8%, compared with 21.5% in the same period last year. For the second quarter ended June 30, net income increased 16% to $3.9 million, or 33 cents per share, compared with $3.3 million, or 29 cents per share, in the year-ago period. Revenues were up 20% to $67.7 million. For the six months, profits increased 18% to $8.5 million, or 72 cents per share, compared with $7.3 million, or 64 cents per share, in the year-ago period. Revenues increased 23% to $137.5 million.
OrNda HealthCorp, the nation's fifth-largest investor-owned hospital chain, plans to sell $100 million in subordinated bonds to repay existing debt and finance acquisitions. The Nashville, Tenn.-based company filed a registration statement for the bonds last week with the Securities and Exchange Commission. OrNda will use the proceeds to reduce debt under its revolving credit agreement; repurchase 10.25% notes that had been issued by American Healthcare Management, with which it recently merged; and finance acquisitions. That includes its pending deal to buy 413-bed Fountain Valley (Calif.) Regional Hospital and Medical Center. OrNda last week signed a definitive agreement to buy Fountain Valley for $145 million.
Vencor has agreed to buy Ontario (Calif.) Community Hospital from Pacific Physician Services, Redlands, Calif. Terms weren't disclosed. Pacific Physicians is buying Ontario Community and Doctors Hospital of Montclair (Calif.) from National Medical Enterprises, Santa Monica, Calif. When that deal closes on Aug. 1, Pacific Physician will sell the Ontario facility to Vencor, a Louisville, Ky.-based chain of 32 intensive-care hospitals. Vencor reported a 36% jump in profits to $7.3 million, or 39 cents per share, for the second quarter ended June 30, compared with $5.3 million, or 29 cents per share, in the year-ago period. The chain reported a 47% rise in revenues to $98.5 million. For the six months, the company reported a 34% increase in profits to $13.2 million, or 74 cents per share, compared with $9.9 million, or 54 cents per share, in the year-ago period. Revenues rose 43% to $185.5 million.
Beverly Enterprises said its net income for the second quarter ended June 30 climbed 35% to $19.6 million, or 21 cents per share, compared with net income of $14.5 million, or 18 cents per share, during the same period a year ago. Revenues increased less than 1% to $719 million. For the six months, net income rose 41% to $35 million, or 37 cents per share, compared with $25 million, or 31 cents per share, in 1993. Revenues remained almost unchanged at $1.4 billion. During the first half of 1994, Beverly expanded into subacute care through the purchase of Franklin, Tenn.-based American Transitional Hospitals in a stock deal valued at $33 million (April 18, p. 4). Fort Smith, Ark.-based Beverly is the nation's largest nursing home chain, operating 759 nursing facilities, 41 retirement living centers, 42 pharmacies and five home health centers nationwide.