A circuit court judge in Dade County, Fla., has dismissed a whistleblower lawsuit filed against Integrated Health Services, the company said. Anthony Gilchrist, a former IHS nursing home administrator, had accused the company of firing him when he allegedly discovered it had falsely billed the Medicare program and violated federal securities laws (Oct. 24, 1994, p. 12). In February 1994, Gilchrist was terminated from his post of executive director at Greenbriar, an IHS facility in Miami, where he had served for less than a year. He filed the suit in October 1994. "Clearly, this was a case of a disgruntled ex-employee who was trying to take advantage of our company and its shareholders," said Robert N. Elkins, M.D., chairman and chief executive officer at IHS, in a statement. The company said it responded to Gilchrist's allegations by conducting an internal investigation, which found the claims to be false. Gilchrist's attorney could not be reached for comment.
A former administrator accused of improperly using Wheeling (W.Va.) Hospital funds to support a lavish lifestyle has agreed to pay more than $1 million to settle a lawsuit, officials said. Hospital officials had filed the lawsuit in July 1994 alleging Administrator Samuel Nazzaro misappropriated cash, goods and services worth more than $1.5 million (Aug. 8, 1994, p. 30). He served as administrator from 1964 until his retirement in 1993. Current Administrator Donald Hofreuter said Nazzaro agreed to pay $1 million, surrender all his rights to various compensation plans and drop a $6 million countersuit against the Roman Catholic Church-sponsored hospital. Nazzaro was unavailable for comment. The hospital's lawsuit alleged that "by manipulating hospital employees, disguising cash transactions and misappropriating hospital funds, goods and services, Nazzaro was able to enjoy meals, groceries, alcohol, clothing, furniture, airline travel and domestic services, all at the expense of Wheeling Hospital." Nazzaro countersued in October 1994, alleging the lawsuit had falsely branded him a crook. He said he acted responsibly.
Beverly Community Hospital in Montebello, Calif., has fully affiliated with Southern California Healthcare Systems, Pasadena. SCHS comprises 606-bed Huntington Memorial Hospital, Pasadena; 347-bed Methodist Hospital of Southern California, Arcadia; 142-bed Huntington East Valley Hospital, Glendora; a network of more than 2,000 physicians; as well as other healthcare concerns. The 216-bed acute-care Beverly Hospital provides "the linkage the system needed for the southern tier of the San Gabriel Valley," said Frederick C. Meyer, SCHS president and chief executive officer. Beverly will realize "well over $1 million in operating savings annually" and have access to contracts with managed-care plans and physicians, he said. The system projects 1995 revenues of $420 million.
Third-quarter earnings for Baxter International grew 9% to $163 million, or 59 cents per share, from $149 million, or 53 cents per share, in the year-ago period. Total Baxter sales for the quarter ended Sept. 30 rose 6% to $2.5 billion, driven by a 15% boom in medical specialties business, the Deerfield, Ill.-based hospital supplier said. Baxter's medical specialties include renal, biotechnology, cardiovascular and international hospital divisions. For the nine months, net income rose 11.6% to $473 million, or $1.70 per share, from $424 million, or $1.52 per share, in the year-ago period. Net sales rose 6% to $7.24 billion. Executive Vice President Tony White, a 26-year Baxter employee, resigned in September to head Perkin-Elmer Corp., a Norwalk, Conn.-based manufacturer of instruments used in life-sciences research. White won't be replaced, and his responsibilities, which included oversight of medical specialities businesses, were assigned to Baxter Chairman Vernon R. Loucks Jr. and two other top executives, Baxter said.
Surgical Care Affiliates, a chain of 67 outpatient surgery centers that agreed this month to be acquired by Birmingham, Ala.-based HealthSouth Corp., reported an 11% increase in net income for the third quarter ended Sept. 30 to $11.3 million, or 29 cents per share, from $10.1 million, or 26 cents per share, in the year-ago quarter. Revenues grew 10% to $65.5 million. For the nine months, the Nashville, Tenn.-based chain reported an 18% increase in net income to $33 million, or 84 cents per share, compared with $27.9 million, or 72 cents per share, in the year-ago period. Revenues grew 15% to $196.3 million.