Health Midwest sale OK'd
* HCA completed its $1 billion purchase of not-for-profit Health Midwest, Kansas City, Mo., last week, the company said. Nashville-based HCA agreed in November 2002 to pay $1.1 billion for Health Midwest, which owns nine hospitals in Missouri and Kansas and manages four others. The final value of the deal fell to just more than $1 billion because HCA did not acquire $87 million in assets that Health Midwest will retain. The system will operate these five nonhospital facilities under the name Community Health Group. Two healthcare charitable foundations are to be established, one each in Kansas and Missouri, with the net proceeds of the sale expected to be about $700 million.
Tenet settles lawsuit
* Tenet Healthcare Corp. last week said it reached an agreement to settle a lawsuit filed by California Attorney General Bill Lockyer in August 2002 that had blocked closure of 153-bed Daniel Freeman Marina Hospital, Marina del Rey, Calif. The lawsuit contended that Tenet did not follow the required procedures when Lockyer approved the sale. Tenet has agreed to donate $400,000 to the California Community Foundation, which will make grants to charities providing healthcare services in the hospital's service area. Tenet also will pay the state $100,000 to offset its legal costs. In return, a preliminary injunction blocking the closure will be dissolved, allowing Tenet to close the hospital if it wants.
Vanguard to reopen ER
* Vanguard Health Systems, Nashville, is reversing course with 127-bed Phoenix Memorial Hospital. Vanguard said last week it has reached a partnership agreement with a 250-physician multispecialty practice, Medical Professional Associates of Arizona, to reopen the hospital's emergency department and obstetric and pediatric services. The emergency department is set to open this summer, and the obstetric and pediatric services are to resume in early 2004, Vanguard said.