It seems as if LeRoy Pesch, M.D., the healthcare entrepreneur who recently dropped his efforts to buy a community hospital in Sun Valley, Idaho, and transform it into a luxury private hospital for rich vacationers (Oct. 10, p. 18), has some unfinished legal business.
Outliers has learned that the Blaine County, Idaho, prosecutor's office has no fewer than six outstanding civil judgments issued against the good doctor-totaling about $1.5 million. Groups to which Dr. Pesch owes money include:
Beech Acceptance Corp., a Kansas corporation that received $1.4 million in a default judgment on July 26 resulting from a promissory note Dr. Pesch failed to repay.
Ascot Collection, a Washington-based company that was awarded $14,980 from Dr. Pesch for unpaid services on July 19.
Anderson Asphalt Paving, a Ketchum, Idaho, company that won a March 14 judgment for $8,001 owed for services.
Dennis Washington, a Montana resident who was awarded $48,120 in a default judgment on Dec. 6, 1993.
Trustees of Seattle West Medical Center, the Pesch-owned hospital that was driven into bankruptcy in 1991, who were awarded $40,000 in a summary judgment on Aug. 27, 1993.
Food Services of America, a Seattle-based company that was awarded $32,721 on June 15, 1993, also for unpaid services.
Outliers couldn't reach Dr. Pesch to get his side of the story. Blaine County officials also couldn't be reached for comment.
Hittin' the Hill.After a ho-hum winter, the Capitol Hill lobbying effort of the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations came to life during last spring's legislative battles over healthcare.
The lobbying activity is measured by total receipts taken in by the Washington firm of Gold & Liebengood, which the JCAHO engaged in October 1993 to boost its efforts to influence legislation on healthcare quality measurement issues (March 28, p. 48).
Among the 41 clients on Gold & Liebengood's list during the reporting period of April through June, the JCAHO was second in billings with $55,200, plus another $2,366 share of general expenses spread across the client base.
January through March, the lobbying firm took in just $18,400 from the JCAHO. Along with the first three months' take of $55,200 through December 1993, the representation has cost the JCAHO $128,800, according to the required filings in the Congressional Record. Filings for the big finish to the congressional healthcare push, July through September, are expected to be published sometime next month.
Frist legacy.The senior living industry has a new educational and training center with a very familiar name.
The Frist Center at Nashville's Belmont University is named in honor of Thomas F. Frist Sr., M.D., and his wife, Dorothy Cate Frist.
Many healthcare professionals know the 83-year-old Dr. Frist as one of the creators of Hospital Corporation of America, now part of Louisville, Ky.-based Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corp. But Dr. Frist also founded Brentwood, Tenn.-based American Retirement Corp., which manages 19 retirement communities in 14 states.
With start-up funding from Dr. Frist and ARC, the Frist Center serves as a resource for continuing-care retirement community, assisted living and nursing home professionals. It is dedicated to serving senior executives, middle managers and front-line employees.
The center began with a course on nursing management but has plans to offer training in subjects ranging from food service to executive leadership.
Susan Giesecke, the center's executive director, often receives mail addressed to the "First" Center. Indeed, she said, it is the first center of its kind.
Koop de grace.Former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop, M.D., has an update, albeit a posthumous one, on the late Rep. Claude Pepper, the crusading Florida Democrat who was fond of saying, "The United States will get reform of its healthcare system, but not in my lifetime."
Dr. Koop said he had it on good authority that when Mr. Pepper died, he went straight to heaven and was granted an audience with God. "Mr. Pepper asked God, `Will we ever get healthcare reform?'
"The Lord answered, `Yes, you will-but not in my lifetime,'*" Dr. Koop said.
Top 10 list.At a recent "end of season" party held by staff members of the congressional committees that handled healthcare reform, aides put together a list they called "The Top 10 Reasons I'm Glad We've Stopped Drafting Healthcare Reform." A few of the highlights:
The entire United States paper supply was depleted.
An increased likelihood of leniency in the sentencing of (White House adviser) Ira Magaziner-a reference to a possible contempt of court charge involving the open meetings case and the White House healthcare task force.
Congress is now free to consider fresh, innovative approaches offered by individual members to reform the healthcare system, which don't create government-run bureaucracies, impose burdensome mandates or socialistic price controls, or raise taxes, yet also don't require any people to spend more or receive less than they do under the current system.
Sen. Harris Wofford (D-Pa.) is able to campaign for re-election using the same commercials that got him elected in the first place.
Staff is able to spend more time drafting "contracts with America."
Quotable."Acute care in my estimation is dying as a business. I can outperform and outcompete hospitals."-Andrew L. Turner, chief executive officer of Albuquerque, N.M.-based Sun Healthcare Group, an operator of nursing homes and subacute-care facilities, pontificating on the ability of providers such as Sun to care for medically complex patients less expensively than acute-care hospitals.
Mr. Turner addressed some 800 healthcare operators and financiers who attended the fourth annual National Investment Conference for the Senior Living and Long Term Care Industryin Washington.