Merger in N.Y. planned
* Two New York hospitals-734-bed NYU Hospitals Center and 157-bed Hospital for Joint Diseases/Orthopaedic Institute-said last week that they have agreed to a full-asset merger to spur growth in an already fast-growing specialty. Officials said the merger is the culmination of a long-standing affiliation and will ensure a single standard of musculoskeletal care at the two locations. There are no plans to consolidate or close facilities. Officials said they anticipated "minimal financial cost and disruption of business operations." The deal is expected to close by the first quarter of 2006.
Calif. facilities sold, again
* Catholic Healthcare West, San Francisco, said last week it has signed a definitive agreement to buy two hospitals from Universal Health Services, King of Prussia, Pa., for $32.5 million. The deal is expected to close in June. UHS is selling 48-bed French Hospital Medical Center, San Luis Obispo, Calif., and 44-bed Arroyo Grande (Calif.) Community Hospital three months after acquiring the hospitals in a $120.6 million purchase of three-hospital Vista Hospital Systems, Corona, Calif. UHS will retain 228-bed Corona (Calif.) Regional Medical Center, which was acquired in the Vista deal. If completed, UHS would own or operate 27 acute-care and 39 behavioral hospitals. CHW would own or operate 40 acute-care hospitals.
D.C. nurses get raise
* More than 1,200 nurses at Washington (D.C.) Hospital Center ratified a three-year contract last week giving nurses a minimum 3.5% annual salary increase. Starting salaries will be increased 24%. The contract was set to become effective April 4. Pay increases were also given to nurses in the hospital's float pool and for those working on call in the operating room. The agreement was reached with the nurses' new union, Nurses United of the National Capital Region, after the old union, the District of Columbia Nurses Association, was decertified in July 2003.