Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corp. completed one deal last week and announced another. The Nashville, Tenn.-based giant completed a 50-50 joint venture with 360-bed Medical Center of South Arkansas in El Dorado. Terms were not disclosed. Columbia operates six other hospitals in southern Arkansas and northern Louisiana. In addition, the hospital chain agreed to a swap with Champion Healthcare Corp., Houston. The deal calls for Columbia to acquire Lakeland Regional Hospital, Springfield, Mo., in exchange for Poplar Springs Hospital, Petersburg, Va. Lakeland Regional, a 149-bed psychiatric hospital, will join Columbia Hospital South and Columbia Hospital North in the Springfield area. The sale of Poplar Springs, a 100-bed psychiatric hospital, was required by the Federal Trade Commission as part of its approval of an earlier Columbia acquisition in Virginia.
Champion Healthcare Corp. reported net income of $1.6 million in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, 1995, compared with a loss of $1 million in the year-ago quarter. However, because it paid $6.9 million in noncash preferred stock dividends in the quarter, the Houston-based hospital company reported a fourth-quarter loss to shareholders of $5.2 million, or $1.22 per share, compared with a loss of $2.3 million, or $1.03 per share, in the year-ago quarter. Revenues grew 51% to $49.7 million in the quarter. For the year, the company reported a 3% rise in net income to $2.3 million. Again, because it paid $11.3 million in noncash dividends, the company reported a loss to shareholders of $9 million, or $2.12 per share, compared with a loss of $2.5 million, or $1.69 per share, in the previous year. Revenues grew 61% to $167.5 million in 1995. Champion, which operates nine hospitals in seven states, issued $15 million in stock at the end of December to recapitalize the company and eliminate the impact of noncash dividends on earnings per share.
Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center in New York has added Nyack (N.Y.) Hospital to its regional network of affiliates. The affiliation agreement calls for joint purchasing arrangements and the development of joint clinical programs in areas such as family practice, obstetrics and gynecology, radiation oncology and cardiology. Beginning July 1, residents from Columbia-Presbyterian's pediatric residency program will provide 24-hour coverage at Nyack. And, as part of the nine-member network, Nyack will participate in managed-care programs involving Columbia-Presbyterian and its affiliates.
William M. Dwyer has been elected chairman of the National Committee for Quality Health Care for 1996. Dwyer is senior director of strategic marketing for the health systems division of Abbott Laboratories. Dwyer succeeds J. Richard Gaintner, M.D., president and chief executive officer of Pathway Health Network, Boston. The NCQHC is a coalition of hospitals, health systems, drug companies and other corporations dedicated to enhancing the quality of American healthcare.
A New York City jury last week cleared Bellevue Hospital Center of responsibility in the January 1989 death of a pregnant pathologist who was raped and strangled by a former mental patient who'd been living in a hospital utility room. Finding that Bellevue had taken reasonable security precautions, the New York Supreme Court jury threw out a $25 million wrongful death suit against the New York City Health and Hospitals Corp., which operates Bellevue. The suit was brought by Eric Johnson, husband of 33-year-old Kathryn Hinnant, who was found murdered in her office.