The line of healthcare companies waiting to go public looks uncomfortably like a Christmas queue at New York's JFK International Airport.
And that's just counting initial public offerings registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Behind them are a string of private companies dressing up to go public sometime in the future.
Typically, the annual dog-and-pony shows hosted by major investment banking firms showcase a sprinkling of private companies. But the lineup of 200 or so healthcare companies at Robertson Stephens & Co.'s four-day medical conference in New York last week drew more than four dozen private companies. Are these the future high fliers of Wall Street? Here's a sampling of companies to watch:
Oxford Specialty Management Co. is a new initiative funded by its namesake, Oxford Health Plans, a Norwalk, Conn.-based HMO. The new company espouses a patient-centered disease management approach. It intends to restructure the delivery and payment of "specialist-directed" medical care by paying case rates for high-cost and high-volume procedures.
Orange (Calif.) Coast Managed Care Services is a management company that operates a 520-physician independent practice association, a 50-physician medical group and an occupational medicine division.
West Hartford, Conn.-based ASC Network Corp. was founded this June through the merger of SunSurgery Corp. and Premier Ambulatory Systems. The company operates 25 freestanding outpatient surgery centers in California, Connecticut, Illinois and Texas.
Short search. No one expected that the head of a committee to find a new chief executive officer for Children's Hospital Medical Center in Cincinnati would end up being offered the job himself, but that's exactly what happened.
As chairman of the hospital's board of trustees, James M. Anderson was charged with leading a search committee after former CEO William K. Schubert, M.D., announced his retirement.
The board hired the executive search firm Witt/Kieffer, Ford, Hadelman & Lloyd to comb the nation in search of a replacement. But Witt/Keifer's staff was impressed with Anderson's strong vision of the qualities a CEO should possess and actually suggested that Anderson consider the job.
Anderson, 54, decided to ditch his job as a corporate lawyer at the Cincinnati firm of Taft Stettinius & Hollister, where he was a partner. He went to work for the hospital Nov. 1.
His management experience consists of about four years as president of U.S. operations for Xemox Corp., an Ohio manufacturing company. He also had a two-year stint as mayor of Indian Hill, Ohio.
So far, he has made some management changes but will continue the general strategic direction of the hospital, which he helped formulate when he was board chairman.
There's been one drawback. Some employees have teased him about taking a demotion.
Goin' country.The editorial offices of Health Systems Review are moving to Nashville, Tenn., from Little Rock, Ark. Or, as Craig Havighurst, the editor of the bimonthly journal of the Federation of American Health Systems, puts it, he's moving to Nashville and he's taking the editorial offices with him.
The move makes sense given the numerous healthcare companies that have started in or relocated to the Nashville area. "It's a collection of personal and professional reasons for moving," Havighurst said of the move. "I love the quality of life, the music scene, and they let me move because of everything that's going on here in healthcare."
The federation's administrative offices will remain in Little Rock, where a dozen people work on association tasks, including three who handle business, circulation and advertising responsibilities of the Review. The federation's Washington office has a staff of 15 and includes one Review writer.
Oops.There must be an overabundance of competent staff at San Bernardino County (Calif.) Medical Center. In fact, it appears the 296-bed facility is looking to cancel some of them out.
The hospital recently ran an advertisement in the Los Angeles Times seeking a "hospital mismanager." The position included planning and organizing the medical center's financial, data processing and telecommunication services. The mistake was made by the newspaper, not the staff, a medical center spokeswoman said.
Downhill racers.The winter activity schedule is heating up at Recreation Unlimited-National Center For People With Disabilities in Ashley, Ohio.
A not-for-profit organization, the center is one of the few organizations to offer challenging sports and outdoor activities for the disabled. It operates a year-round, 160-acre campus visited by some 5,000 disabled people each year. Participants range in age from 6 to more than 50, and most have been injured as a result of an industrial accident, military service or diseases such as spina bifida and cerebral palsy.
Over the weekend, the center kicked off its winter season with a trip to the ski slopes in Breckenridge, Colo., by about 20 adaptive alpine skiers. The center will also be running an adaptive ice skating program at the Sports Ohio Chiller Complex from January through March.
Adaptive indoor tennis, an alpine climbing tower, arts and crafts, and ice fishing on the center's six-acre lake are other cold-weather options. The center also offers respite weekends designed for disabled individuals to stay at the center's campus while their caregivers focus on other concerns at home.
Some 500 to 700 people are expected to take advantage of these programs over the next three months, with funding from private sources, government programs and social agencies.