Hearing set on acquisition
Missouri Attorney General Jay Nixon said his office will hold a public hearing on the proposed acquisition of Health Midwest, Kansas City, Mo., by HCA, Nashville. The Nov. 18 hearing in Kansas City will focus on whether the decision to sell was influenced by conflicts of interest or self-dealing, and whether the price and distribution of assets are fair. Under Missouri law governing the sale of not-for-profit assets, Nixon has 20 days to approve or reject the deal once Health Midwest and HCA give notice of a definitive agreement. Earlier this month, HCA and Health Midwest announced they were in exclusive negotiations for HCA to acquire the system for $1.13 billion.
Neoforma delays results
Neoforma, San Jose, Calif., said it will delay reporting full third-quarter results as it makes ongoing accounting adjustments, but the adjustments will not affect revenue or cash flow in any period. The adjustments primarily relate to depreciation of software and amortization of deferred compensation, and their cumulative impact is expected to result in a $6 million decrease-or 1.5%-in the company's total net loss from Jan. 1, 2000, to June 30, 2002. However, Neoforma said it is possible additional adjustments would be identified during the re-audit, and it was unable to say when the re-audit would end. The e-commerce company's second-quarter financial statement was similarly delayed by accounting questions, which subsequently were resolved after consultation with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Pact cuts mandatory overtime
A new labor contract between Kaiser Permanente's 17 Northern California hospitals and the California Nurses Association, representing more than 10,000 registered nurses at the facilities, will eliminate mandatory overtime as of Jan. 1, except in cases of public emergencies. In addition, nurses will receive across-the-board wage increases of 26.5% during the four-year contract and increased pension and retiree health benefits. Kaiser will replace its current 401(k) plan with a defined benefits package for retirees of nearly triple the value.