Charter Medical Corp. reported a net loss for the third quarter ended June 30 of $10.5 million, or 39 cents per share, compared with a loss of $5.3 million, or 21 cents per share, in the year-ago period. Net revenues declined 5% to $220.9 million. The company said, however, that adjusted net income from continuing operations for the quarter amounted to $17.3 million, or 64 cents per share, compared with $15.3 million, or 56 cents per share, a year ago. The company's earnings were depressed by a variety of interest and restructuring expenses. For the nine months, Charter posted a net loss of $13.2 million, or 50 cents per share, compared with a loss of $32.3 million, or $1.30 per share, in the year-ago period. Revenues declined 7% to $642.3 million. Macon, Ga.-based Charter, the nation's largest psychiatric hospital chain, operates 102 hospitals in 16 states.
Tampa, Fla.-based Dynamic Health acquired its third hospital last week when it purchased 65-bed Northeast Medical Center in Bonham, Texas. Terms of the acquisition weren't disclosed. Dynamic Health was formed in 1992 to acquire hospitals in smaller urban and rural markets, executives said. The new facility, 70 miles north of Dallas, joins hospitals the company already owns in Cleveland, Texas, and Plaquemine, La.
The 1,700 registered nurses at Emory University's two hospitals in Atlanta have launched a union-organizing drive in response to Emory's proposed partnership with Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corp. In May, Emory signed a letter of intent to affiliate with Columbia/HCA to form a nine-hospital, 27-clinic network in the Atlanta area (May 30, p. 10). The nurses reportedly fear that Emory's affiliation with the nation's largest for-profit hospital company could affect their work environment and might also result in the loss of nursing jobs. The nurses are being represented by the United Nurses of Georgia, an affiliate of the 1.2 million-member American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.
State officials cited the 166-bed Psychiatric Hospital at Los Angeles County-University of Southern California Medical Center for safety risks after final structural engineering inspections revealed serious damage from the Jan. 19 earthquake in Southern California. It likely will be sealed permanently. The medical center's staff is providing psychiatric services at other hospitals. The demolition of 16 buildings on campus has begun. Plans call for completion of a new 946-bed replacement hospital by the year 2002.
Baxter International and Rhone-Poulenc Rorer have agreed to pay as much as $160 million to settle a federal court lawsuit alleging they sold blood-clotting products tainted with the AIDS virus. David Shrager, an attorney for the plaintiffs, said as many as 6,000 people may have been infected through blood-clotting products the defendants-including three other companies that weren't part of the settlement-continued selling or promoting even after they should have known the products were tainted. Under the proposed settlement, Deerfield, Ill.-based Baxter and Collegeville, Pa.-based Rhone-Poulenc Rorer would pay a combined $140 million to $160 million into a fund for HIV-infected hemophiliacs who used the clotting agents.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is investigating charges that Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Missouri violated the Americans with Disabilities Act when it denied three persons coverage for chemotherapy treatments. The charges were filed by three plan enrollees with cancer who say the Blues broke the law by paying for high-dosage chemotherapy for persons with certain types of cancer while denying coverage of the same treatment for other forms of the disease. A Blues spokesman said the plan considers the chemotherapy treatment for the cancers of the three patients experimental. Two have breast cancer, and the other has bone cancer.
The U.S. Senate late last week was nearing passage of a $37.4 billion budget for the Department of Veterans Affairs for fiscal 1995. Under the funding bill, VA medical-care spending would be $16.2 billion, with another $252 million earmarked for research. The House passed a nearly identical measure earlier this year.