Response Oncology terminates PPM contracts. Response Oncology, a Memphis, Tenn.-based physician practice management company, says it will write off between $28 million and $32 million after terminating contracts with three "underperforming" practices.
The practices are in Knoxville, Tenn., Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and Tamarac, Fla. The number of doctors affected was not disclosed. Prior to the terminations, Response Oncology had 43 physicians in 11 clinics. The PPM says its other eight clinics are performing as expected.
The write-off related to the terminations will be charged against fourth-quarter earnings, the company says. As of Modern Physician's deadline, earnings had not been released.
As well as expanding into physician practice management in 1996, Response Oncology operated outpatient chemotherapy centers in 27 states.
Eye-care PPM denies lawsuit charges. Vision Twenty-One, an eye-care PPM based in Largo, Fla., became the target of multiple shareholder lawsuits after it reported earnings problems.
Theodore Gillette, the company's chairman, chief executive officer and president, on Feb. 4 issued a statement denying charges in the lawsuits that the company misstated revenues and net income to boost its stock price.
At least six lawsuits have charged Vision Twenty-One and its officers with misstating earnings in the first and second quarters of 1998.
On Nov. 6, 1998, the share price dropped almost in half to below $6 after the company reported an unexpected loss of three cents per share for the third quarter. The company attributed the loss to problems integrating its practices. It has affiliations with 5,800 providers, including nonphysicians, in 4,400 clinics and retail centers.
Healtheon gets more big names on board. Healthcare technology company Healtheon added more prominent names to its executive roster as it launched its initial public offering of stock.
Santa Clara, Calif.-based Healtheon added Theodore Jermoluk and Laura D'Andrea Tyson to its board in February.
Jermoluk is chairman, chief executive officer and president of At Home Corp., which is developing cable access to the Internet. At Home's most notable move lately was an announced $6.7 billion merger with another Internet company, search engine and portal Excite.
Tyson was President Clinton's national economic adviser for three years before becoming dean of the Haas Business School at the University of California-Berkeley.
Healtheon is developing Internet-based computing systems for healthcare providers and consumers.
A date for the IPO had not been announced as of Modern Physician's deadline.
M.D. On-Line adds AT&T. M.D. On-Line, which processes healthcare transactions by computer, is linking with AT&T in an attempt to boost its presence with both providers and payers.
M.D. On-Line, a privately held company based in Chestnut, N.J., and AT&T will jointly promote the distribution of AT&T WorldNet business services to M.D. On-Line's existing customers. The exact number of customers was not disclosed.
The move is in anticipation of M.D. On-Line changing its emphasis to processing insurance claims transactions over the Internet, rather than over a direct telephone line. The company says it has handled 1.1 million transactions.
AT&T WorldNet offers dial-up access to the Internet.
Healthcare mergers, acquisitions continue. The dollar value of publicly disclosed healthcare services' mergers and acquisitions reached a record $65.4 billion in 1998, an increase of more than 38% over 1997, according to a new report from Irving Levin Associates, a New Canaan, Conn.-based research firm.
The dollar amount is up, but the number of healthcare transactions actually declined in 1998 to 1,138 from 1,273 in 1997. The number of medical group transactions declined 17% to 258 from 310, and the amount spent on medical group deals in 1998 plummeted almost 50% to $1.7 billion from $3.3 billion in 1997 (see story on page 50).
Doc execs happy. Physicians wearing executive hats are more often happy than not with their career choice, says a study by the Tampa, Fla.-based Physician Executive Management Center.
According to the study, physicians in chief medical officer roles unanimously report that they are happy with their choice to become an executive, and 85% say they are happy in their current jobs. The data are based on responses from 72 medical managers.
"Unhappy and dissatisfied physicians are likely to leave the executive track early, and few become senior physician managers in their organization," says David Kirschman, president of the center.