Community Health Systems, Houston, has received a $200 million credit facility for working capital from NationsBank of Tennessee and First Union National Bank of North Carolina. The 20-hospital chain is expected to complete its acquisition of Hallmark Healthcare Corp., an Atlanta-based chain of 17 hospitals, on Oct. 5.
Hospital Staffing Services, the embattled home-care staffing firm, has sold its 13 Western and five New York branch offices to Interim Services, the nation's second-largest staffing company, for $4.5 million. The offices sold are expected to generate $25 million in revenues during 1994, executives said. Both companies are based in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Selling the two regions falls in line with Hospital Staffing Services' plan to sell off the company or a portion of its assets as a means of distancing itself from a federal investigation of its billing practices. Last February, the company closed its Boca Raton, Fla., office and laid off 39 of its administrative employees (Feb. 8, 1993, p. 14). In May, the company's board requested and received the resignation of Brian Lechner, executive vice president and chief operating officer. Ronald Cass, the company's chairman and chief executive officer, has assumed Mr. Lechner's duties during the interim.
Pacific Biometrics signed a letter of intent to merge with Merchant House Scientific in a stock-for-stock transaction. Under the agreement, Seattle-based Pacific Biometrics will become a subsidiary of Irvine, Calif.-based Merchant House, and Merchant House will move its product line into Pacific Biometrics. The new company will have headquarters in Seattle. Both firms are privately held and didn't release financial information. Pacific Biometrics performs research under contract for pharmaceutical companies but will develop more of its own products after the merger. Merchant House Scientific produces laboratory and diagnostic technology.
Clinical Catalysts, a hospital pharmacy consulting firm, has signed a contract with Healthtrust to develop pharmacy cost-savings programs for the Nashville, Tenn.-based chain's 116 hospitals. Terms of the two-year contract weren't disclosed. Louisville, Ky.-based Clinical Catalysts was formed in July by Gary Wyngarden, president and chief executive officer of MedEcon Services, a group purchasing organization in Louisville.
Morrison Restaurants has sold its food-service management contracts in schools and business to Gardner Merchant for $1.6 billion. The Mobile, Ala.-based company's strategic plan calls for it to concentrate on developing its Morrison Group, which manages food-service departments for about 290 healthcare facilities, and its Ruby Tuesday Group, which includes its Ruby Tuesday restaurants (April 25, p. 40).
First Physician Care, an Atlanta-based operator of primary-care physician clinics, has completed four transactions in Florida and Georgia. The company purchased Adler and Associates, a practice of eight pediatricians, and South Pasadena Medical Clinic, both in Tampa, Fla. In addition, the company purchased Georgia Internal Medicine Group, a two-physician clinic in Atlanta, and Boca Raton (Fla.) Medical Group, a 10-physician group. First Physician, financed through venture capital from the New York-based Sprout Group, now has 26 physicians who provide care to 35,000 individuals through at-risk contracts.