Transitional Hospitals approached by suitors. Las Vegas-based Transitional Hospitals Corp. said it has recently received unsolicited but "friendly" approaches from parties interested in acquiring the long-term, acute-care hospital chain. A company spokeswoman said no firm offers have been made and no time frame has been set for a decision on whether to sell. Last year, Nashville-based Behavioral Healthcare Corp. acquired 25 psychiatric hospitals from Community Psychiatric Centers, which subsequently changed its name to Transitional Hospitals Corp. CPC sold the hospitals for $130 million in an effort to focus on long-term acute care. Transitional Hospitals now operates 16 long-term-care hospitals and three satellite facilities in 13 states.
n*Columbia acquires stake in Spanish hospital. Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corp. has made its first foray into Spain by acquiring a 54% stake in a teaching hospital in Barcelona. Terms of the transaction weren't disclosed. Instituto Dexeus, a 110-bed tertiary-care facility, is known for research and teaching expertise, especially for women's healthcare procedures, Columbia said. The hospital is affiliated with Universidad Autonoma de Barcelona.
White House backs Medicaid eligibility for HIV patients. Under a program endorsed by the Clinton administration last month, Medicaid eligibility criteria would be expanded to include people who are HIV positive but have not developed AIDS. The administration said allowing people with HIV to enroll in Medicaid will give them access to new drug therapies that will save money in the long run. AIDS groups estimate there are several thousand low-income people who are HIV positive but don't qualify for Medicaid under current law because they don't have AIDS-related illnesses. HCFA likely would implement the program as part of a demonstration project that would allow states to decide whether to expand their Medicaid eligibility.
GE completes Lockheed Martin deal. General Electric said its medical systems division has completed the purchase of Lockheed Martin Medical Imaging Systems, a Hoffman Estates, Ill.-based maker of radiology picture archiving and communication systems. Financial terms weren't disclosed. Milwaukee-based GE Medical Systems said it will integrate Lockheed's product line with its own. No employee layoffs are planned, but the approximately 130 Lockheed workers involved will be relocated to another plant in the Chicago area, a GE spokesman said.
Federation offers new Web site. The Federation of American Health Systems has created a new World Wide Web site to allow its 1,700 for-profit hospital and health system members to communicate with one another and get the latest information from Washington. IntraActive, a Washington-based computer software and Internet technology company, created the new communication tool. "The more knowledgeable our members are, the better health system advocates they can be," said Laura Thevenot, the federation's executive vice president and chief operating officer. "When a hot issue comes up in Congress, instead of faxing position papers and tips on reaching Congress to all FAHS members, we can immediately alert them via the site." The site's address is http: www.fahs.com.
Drug company Novartis now No. 1 in sales. Swiss-based Novartis, the drug company formed by last December's merger of giants Ciba-Geigy and Sandoz, ranked No. 1 in worldwide drug sales for 1996 with 4.4% market share, bumping previous leader Glaxo Wellcome, based in Great Britain, to second place, according to IMS International, Totowa, N.J. Largely as a result of the Novartis merger, Whitehouse Junction, N.J.-based Merck & Co., the largest U.S. drugmaker, dropped to No. 3 from second place despite worldwide market share that rose to 4% from 3.5% in 1995.