Tenn. hospital rejects suitor. A public hospital in Cleveland, Tenn., last week rejected an offer by Province Healthcare Co., Brentwood, Tenn., to buy an 80% stake in the hospital for $64 million plus annual in-lieu-of-tax payments. Trustees of 174-bed Bradley Memorial Hospital unanimously voted to reject the deal, arguing that out-of-town corporate management "is not as likely to share the same level of commitment to the community."
L.A.'s Cedars-Sinai downgraded. Moody's Investors Service last week downgraded its rating for Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, to A2 from A3, affecting $769 million in debt, and warned that another downgrade was possible. The ratings agency said 849-bed Cedars-Sinai had just $136 million cash on hand, a sharp drop from the $163 million available in 1999. Without a $30 million credit line, the decline would have been more severe. Moody's attributed the decline to slower payments, the conversion to a new computer system and difficulty retaining diagnostic coding personnel. Moreover, cost estimates for a new inpatient tower, research facility and a diagnostic imaging center ran $24 million over budget, Moody's said.
Houston IPA to close shop. Medicine Associates of Houston, an independent practice association with about 500 physicians, will shut its doors mid-May, falling to rising costs and the departure of many Medicare HMOs during the past year, officials said last week. The group was formed in 1996 when several Houston practices sold their assets to Methodist Health Services, a medical-services organization of Methodist Health Care System, Houston. The doctors purchased the assets back two years ago, but Methodist continued to provide management services.
Medibuy wins GE deal. GE Medical Systems last week agreed to sell its diagnostic imaging products to Medibuy.com, San Diego, for undisclosed terms. A builder of Web-based marketplaces, Medibuy has key partnerships with HCA-The Healthcare Co. and the Premier hospital alliance. Meanwhile, GE Medical is a founding partner of the Global Healthcare Exchange, an electronic marketplace being constructed by major suppliers.
Gambro unit sells dialysis clinics. Complying with a 1999 antitrust consent judgment, a U.S. subsidiary of international dialysis giant Gambro AB last week sold four of its western Michigan dialysis clinics to a privately owned company based in Beverly, Mass. Gambro Healthcare, Lakewood, Colo., and Michigan's attorney general settled charges in 1999 that Gambro exploited its monopoly power in three western Michigan counties, and Gambro agreed to divest three of its six dialysis centers in the region. Michael Klein, president of Gambro's North Central Division, said the company opted to sell an additional clinic, a start-up, because "we felt it best served the needs of both parties."
Renal Care buys dialysis unit. Renal Care Group, Nashville, last week agreed to acquire the assets of the outpatient dialysis program at 1,272-bed Methodist Healthcare-Memphis (Tenn.) Hospitals, a three-hospital division of Methodist Healthcare. Terms were not disclosed. The program serves about 200 patients. Once the deal closes and other development projects are completed, Renal Care will operate four outpatient dialysis centers in the Memphis area. The company owns 200 outpatient clinics and provides dialysis services to more than 110 hospitals in 24 states.