The report lists four companies that account for most of these plans—HCA, Tenet Healthcare Corp., Province Healthcare Co. and Triad Hospitals. The latter two no longer exist as independent companies, as Province was bought by LifePoint Hospitals in 2005 and Triad was bought by Community Health Systems in 2007. A LifePoint spokeswoman says the system did not take on any defined-benefit liabilities as part of its deal. But Community says it did take on obligations as part of its acquisition of Triad.
Community did not, however, take on defined-benefit pension liabilities in two recent acquisitions of not-for-profits, Kelly says. When Community acquired two-campus Wyoming Valley Health Care System, Wilkes-Barre, Pa., in May, the PBGC said it negotiated to have $50 million of the sales proceeds set aside to fund the pension. The other acquisition, which did not involve the PBGC, was two-hospital Empire Health Services, Spokane, Wash.
Community evaluates each acquisition individually to determine whether to take on pension liabilities, spokeswoman Tomi Galin says.