The ink is long dry on Bentley Health Care's ambitious deal to open a network of AIDS and cancer treatment centers in New York City--and now so is the funding, MODERN HEALTHCARE has learned.
Bentley Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Bernard Salick, M.D., confirmed last week that only $50 million has been raised in the more than two years since his company struck deals with 668-bed Maimonides Medical Center, 1,032-bed Montefiore Medical Center and 1,086-bed Mount Sinai Medical Center to operate a network of on-site and stand-alone AIDS and cancer treatment facilities.
That's short of the $100 million that physician and entrepreneur Salick said is required to begin building the facilities and the $300 million needed to make the network operational.
Sources said about half the money has come from Salick's own pocket. Salick wouldn't confirm the figure but did say he was one of only two major investors to date. Salick said the other investor is a "well-known, multibillion-dollar company" that he declined to name.
"The healthcare service sector is somewhat flat, and the ability to raise capital when everybody else is doing telecommunications or the Internet has been a problem," he said.
Although Salick said funding could be secured in weeks, he added a year was more realistic. Even with funding in place, it would take at least three months to open the first facility, he said.
Martin Cammer, vice president of financial management and faculty practice at Maimonides, said, "We're not closing the door on Bentley, but we will pursue other opportunities if this doesn't work out." Officials from the other hospitals were not immediately available for comment.
Beverly Hills, Calif.-based Bentley has laid off a number of executives at its New York office, Salick said, declining to disclose the number. The for-profit company no longer plans to treat AIDS patients because payers won't provide funds to properly treat the disease, he said. Instead, Bentley will focus exclusively on cancer treatment.
Salick founded a chain of cancer treatment centers, Los Angeles-based Salick Health Care. British drug manufacturer Zeneca Group bought out Salick Health Care in 1997.