Deals still in decline
* Hospital merger-and-acquisition activity continued to decline in 2002, with only 58 announced deals involving 101 hospitals, according to healthcare research and publishing company Irving Levin Associates. The value of the deals with disclosed prices was $3.5 billion in 2002, compared with $3 billion in 2001 when 83 deals were struck involving 118 hospitals. The $1 billion sale of Health Midwest, Kansas City, Mo., to Nashville-based HCA accounted for more than 30% of the value of transactions in 2002, the report said.
Tenet won't close hospital
* Tenet Healthcare Corp. said earlier this month it would keep 153-bed Daniel Freeman Marina Hospital open. Tenet had slated the Marina del Rey, Calif., hospital for closure last year, but California Attorney General Bill Lockyer filed a lawsuit and won a court injunction to keep the hospital open (Aug. 19, 2002, p. 15). Late last month, Santa Barbara, Calif.-based Tenet and Lockyer settled the lawsuit, freeing Tenet to close the facility after consulting with the hospital's governing board, but Tenet said the board unanimously voted to maintain the facility. Tenet purchased the Marina hospital and Daniel Freemen Memorial Hospital, Inglewood, Calif., for $55 million from the former Carondelet Health System, now Ascension Health, St. Louis (Dec. 17, 2001, p. 18).
HCA agrees to lower deductions
* HCA said earlier this month it has settled a case with the Internal Revenue Service regarding deductions made on tax returns filed by a partnership between HCA and Tulane University Health Sciences Center, New Orleans. The agreement, approved by U.S. Tax Court in Washington, lowers by about $1 million the deductions the partnership, known as University Healthcare System, took for depreciation and amortization in 1995 and 1996. Larger deductions claimed for "ordinary expenses" were unchanged under the court order.