Siloam Springs (Ark.) Memorial Hospital said last week that it won a $425,000 arbitration judgment against its former management firm, QHR, Brentwood, Tenn. The city-owned hospital said it accused QHR, a unit of Triad Hospitals, Plano, Texas, of mismanaging the hospital's operations and finances and providing fraudulent financial information to its elected governing board to obscure poor performance. The arbitration panel agreed that QHR mismanaged the facility and committed financial fraud in its reporting to the board, said Penny McClain, the hospital's chief executive officer. In a written statement, QHR said neither it nor its employees "did anything unlawful or detrimental to the hospital." The statement noted that the arbitrators dismissed many of the hospital's claims and denied its request for punitive damages. The hospital had sought a total of $4.5 million in damages, McClain said. The arbitrators also said the hospital is entitled to collect reasonable legal fees and has the right to appeal if the ruling on legal fees isn't to its liking, McClain said. The hospital board fired QHR in January 2002, as the hospital headed toward a $2.4 million loss for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2002, McClain said. In the year ended March 31, 2004, Siloam Springs earned $600,000, she said.
Vanguard spends to expand
Vanguard Health Systems, Nashville, said last week it would spend up to $370 million over the next three to four years on expansion projects at six hospitals in San Antonio and Phoenix. The projects will expand clinical capacity and fulfill capital commitments Vanguard made in acquiring the hospitals, the privately held company said. Vanguard also announced that profits more than doubled for its fiscal 2004 third quarter, ended March 31. Vanguard earned $13.8 million, compared with $6.6 million in the year-ago quarter. Revenue was up 14.7% to $461.7 million.