Musculoskeletal PPM files for bankruptcy. BMJ Medical Management, a physician practice management company focusing on musculoskeletal practices, on Dec. 17 filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
BMJ, based in Boca Raton, Fla., put much of the blame for its filing on two Florida practices that "unjustifiably" held back management fees. BMJ says it has filed a complaint against the practices.
Usually physicians withhold fees if they don't like a PPM's management performance.
BMJ in February was the last nondental PPM to go public, at $7 per share on the Nasdaq National Market. At the time of its bankruptcy filing, BMJ traded for 37 cents. The company has had three chief executive officers in three months.
BMJ filed its Chapter 11 petition in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Del., which also is handling filings by PPMs FPA Medical Management and PHP Healthcare Corp.
Coastal drops off Big Board. Coastal Physician Group, whose practice management troubles preceded the industry's widespread financial woes, is being booted off the New York Stock Exchange.
The Durham, N.C.-based PPM says it will no longer be on the board as of Jan. 4. After a five-month review, the exchange told Coastal it no longer met its listing requirements, which include a minimum share price of $1. Coastal instead will trade over-the-counter.
The company says heavy losses at its Florida HMO, Healthplan Southeast, which it sold in October, contributed to the financial woes that got the company delisted. Coastal's stock this year peaked at $1.75 in July and traded for 34 cents at the Dec. 18 delisting announcement.
Coastal first suffered heavy losses in 1996, which it blamed on its purchase of HMOs. Since then it has sold its HMOs and physician practices, instead concentrating on emergency room management.
MedPartners buys extra lawsuit insurance. MedPartners, still fighting multiple shareholder lawsuits filed after its stock price dropped in early 1998, says it recently purchased enough insurance to cover any claims.
MedPartners on Dec. 17 said it entered a so-called excess insurance agreement with National Union Fire Insurance Co. of Pittsburgh.
Birmingham, Ala.-based MedPartners did not disclose how much insurance it had purchased or how much total coverage it now has against shareholder litigation.
MedPartners in November said it would sell its PPM business to focus on pharmacy-benefit management. Its stock price started tumbling in January, when a merger with Nashville, Tenn.-based PhyCor fell apart and MedPartners reported larger-than-expected losses.
Quintiles gets merger mania. A North Carolina company made three acquisitions in three days to transform itself into what it calls a full-service healthcare informatics company.
Quintiles Transnational Corp.'s largest deal came Dec. 16 with a $1.7 billion stock purchase of Envoy Corp. of Nashville, which specializes in healthcare electronic data interchange.
The previous day, Research Triangle Park-based Quintiles announced it would acquire Pharmaceutical Marketing Services for $197 million. The New York company, under its Scott-Levin division, gathers and analyzes data about the U.S. pharmaceutical market.
Also, Quintiles on Dec. 14 announced it would acquire "substantial assets" of Hoechst Marion Roussel's drug development facility in Kansas City, Mo. No terms were disclosed for the deal, which would result in Quintiles setting up a contract research organization in Kansas City.
Quintiles provides product development and marketing services to the pharmaceutical, medical device and biotechnology industries. For the first nine months of 1998, Quintiles' earnings were $58.9 million, up 53% over the same period last year. Its revenues were $848.4 million, up 46%.
MedPartners sells governmental unit. MedPartners on Dec. 21 said it sold its government services unit for $67 million to America Service Group, which the physician practice manager once tried to buy.
America Service Group contracts with state, county and local governments to provide healthcare services as well as care at prisons.
In October 1997, Birmingham, Ala.-based MedPartners announced it would buy Brentwood, Tenn.-based America Service Group in a $59 million stock swap.
However, when MedPartners' stock tanked last January, America Service Group canceled the deal because its value fell to $26 million.
MedPartners also is selling its Team Health emergency services and radiology division and its PPM unit. Buyers for those have not yet been announced.