The Florida Independent Physicians Association, an umbrella for 12 independent practice associations, said it expects to sign a contract shortly with North American Medical Management, a subsidiary of Nashville-based PhyCor. NAMM will manage FIPA's management services organization, Gainesville-based Florida Physician Services, which negotiates and administers managed-care contracts for FIPA's 6,000 physicians. Durham, N.C.-based Coastal Healthcare Group, now called Coastal Physician Group, was to manage the network under a 1995 joint venture agreement (April 24, 1995, p. 63). The deal lapsed when Coastal encountered financial problems, said Wilfredo Gonzalez, FPS' chief operating officer. However, Coastal and New London, Conn.-based Mariner Health Group, a post-acute provider, own 50% of the MSO's stock, Gonzalez said. FIPA provides physician services to 55,000 capitated enrollees.
A class-action lawsuit filed against Unison Healthcare Corp. alleges the Scottsdale, Ariz.-based long-term-care company violated federal securities laws. The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Phoenix, claims officers and directors of Unison misrepresented and concealed facts concerning the company's financial results. The suit seeks to recover unspecified damages on behalf of all purchasers of Unison common stock from March 29, 1996, through March 10, 1997. Several Unison top executives, including Jerry Walker, its president and chief executive officer, recently left the company in the wake of its announcement that it had overstated its financial results for the nine months ended Sept. 30, 1996, by $3.6 million, or 93 cents per share (April 21, p. 28). The drop in stock price spurred at least two shareholder lawsuits, which are expected to be folded into the class-action suit.
The recent ouster of Bernard Salick, M.D., from Salick Health Care by Zeneca Group hasn't stymied the outpatient cancer-care company's expansion plans (April 21, p. 20). In fact, it may spark "a more orderly approach" to the development of outpatient centers, said Sheldon S. King, an executive vice president in charge of the company's East Coast activities. While crediting Salick's vision for the company, King faulted the founding physician's lack of discipline in planning the company's strategic growth. "I think the company has moved to a stage of complexity that requires a more management-oriented approach," he said. Within the next 60 days, the company will firm up plans for adding new Salick centers in the New York region and along the East Coast, King said. The former chief executive officer of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles joined Salick in 1995 and moved to New York last November as part of an agreement to build an outpatient cancer center at New York's Saint Vincents Hospital and Medical Center.
The new board of trustees of Columbia Hospital for Women Medical Center in Washington has extended to May 30 the deadline for selecting a buyer (March 17, p. 6). The extension was necessary to accommodate the purchase of George Washington University Hospital, also in Washington, by King of Prussia, Pa.-based Universal Health Services, and an extension request from Suburban Hospital, Bethesda, Md. Those two hospitals, along with Medlantic Healthcare Group, Washington, are bidding to acquire the 110-bed women's hospital.
MedPartners has withdrawn 12 of its Caremark International subsidiary's 13 counts in a lawsuit against Coram Healthcare, a Denver-based home infusion company. MedPartners, a Birmingham, Ala.-based physician practice management company, effectively gave up Caremark's chance to win some $150 million in damages for alleged fraud and breach of contract violations by Coram. Coram bought Caremark's home infusion business in 1995, a deal that led to litigation between the two companies. The litigation was to be resolved by Integrated Health Services' proposed acquisition of Coram, but that deal fell through earlier this month (April 14, p. 36). In the remaining count in its lawsuit, Caremark says Coram still owes it more than $17 million for the home infusion business. Coram denies it owes Caremark money and said it intends to continue to pursue its $1.5 billion lawsuit against Caremark, which Coram says overvalued the home infusion business. The cases are pending in San Francisco Superior Court.