* MedCath Corp., Charlotte, N.C., says founder Stephen Puckett, 51, has stepped down from his role as nonexecutive chairman of the heart hospital company because of potential conflicts with another company Puckett founded, Hospital Partners of America, also based in Charlotte. Puckett is chairman of Hospital Partners.
John Casey, MedCath's president and CEO, added the title of chairman. MedCath says its growth strategy now includes selective acquisitions of acute-care hospitals, largely because of the 18-month moratorium on new physician investment in specialty hospitals that was established as part of last year's Medicare Modernization Act. As MedCath's strategic focus has shifted, the possibility that the two companies would be competing for an acquisition had increased, officials say.
* Bud Bowen, president of Amerinet, has been promoted to the newly created position of CEO as part of an organizational change that strives for a "new customer focus." Bowen, who has been with the St. Louis-based group purchasing organization since its 1986 inception, also takes a seat on the Amerinet board. As CEO, Bowen will focus on developing new strategic initiatives and get more involved in health industry policy initiatives, officials say.
At the same time, Todd Ebert was promoted from executive vice president to president of Amerinet operations. He will report directly to the Amerinet board. Wayne Thompson was hired to fill the new position of president of health systems integration. Thompson was most recently president and CEO of Joint Purchasing Corp.
"We think we will be able to do a much better job of educating our customers about the services we offer and understand all the things beyond group purchasing that Amerinet is involved in," Bowen says.