FALLON, Nev.-Banner Health System, Phoenix, said last week it has decided to keep two hospitals that it was trying to sell to Province Healthcare Co., Brentwood, Tenn., after negotiations for one of the hospitals broke down. Banner, Province and Churchill County, Nev., could not come to an agreement over the sale of 40-bed Churchill Community Hospital, Fallon, said Banner spokesman Dan Green. Churchill County has a $4 million interest in the hospital, owns the land it sits on and has right of first refusal if the hospital is put up for sale. Banner also will keep 59-bed Lassen Community Hospital, Susanville, Calif. A replacement hospital is under construction in Susanville. "Province did not break off negotiations, and we remain interested," Province spokeswoman Merilyn Herbert said. Last year, Banner added Churchill and Lassen to a pool of 10 hospitals, five owned and five leased, that it planned to divest. Of the owned hospitals, four have been sold and negotiations are under way for the fifth. Meanwhile, Banner has terminated three of the five leases.
SACRAMENTO, Calif.-The California Legislature last month approved a bill that requires public disclosure for the first time of some information about doctors' medical malpractice settlements. The bill would require the state medical board to publish settlements on its Web site if a doctor in a "low-risk" specialty, such as family practice, has been involved in at least three settlements of more than $30,000 during a 10-year period. Doctors in "high-risk" specialties, such as neurology, would need four or more settlements to trigger disclosure. The medical board would not be allowed to disclose the dollar amount of settlements but would indicate whether it is below average, average or above average compared with settlements involving other doctors in the same specialty. The board does not currently disclose any settlement information; under existing law, only court judgments against doctors must be made public.