HCA, Nashville, announced a corporate reorganization splitting its hospitals into three operating groups instead of two. Separately, the company confirmed that the Securities and Exchange Commission is pursuing a formal investigation of trading in HCA stock, including sales by trusts controlled by Sen. Bill Frist (R-Tenn.), whose father and brother founded the company.
In addition to its Eastern and Western groups, HCA will create a new Central group, made up of 58 hospitals in Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, Tennessee and Virginia. The Eastern group also will have 58 hospitals and the Western group will have 65. HCA said the smaller groups would enable group executives to provide more direct support to individual markets.
Regarding trading of its stock, the company said it had received SEC notification of a formal inquiry. Four of the five SEC commissioners voted earlier this week to make the probe formal, according to published reports. The fifth commissioner, Chairman Christopher Cox, a former Republican congressman, recused himself because of his association with Frist in Congress.