ATLANTA—A consolidation agreement may be on the horizon for 403-bed Atlanta Medical Center and 180-bed South Fulton Medical Center, East Point, Ga. Officials with the two Atlanta-area hospitals are in discussions with officials from the state's community health department “to determine the most viable option and to secure all necessary approvals” for such a deal, according to a joint news release.
Regional News/South: South Fulton Medical Center to finish consolidation agreement by year's end, and other news
Both hospitals are owned by Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare Corp. Combining the two hospitals would alleviate some stress and streamline the two facilities' offerings, James Clements, South Fulton Medical Center's CEO, said in the release. “We have been looking for ways to improve the hospital's financial picture, especially in light of the continued changes in the healthcare environment,” he said. “Consolidating our operations with those of AMC will enable us to achieve financial and operational efficiencies and build on our strengths to continue to serve the (East Point) community.” The two hospitals said consolidation is expected to be completed by the end of 2012. South Fulton Medical Center will become Atlanta Medical Center-South Campus, according to the release. Some upper management positions will likely be eliminated, said a spokesman for Atlanta Medical Center, adding that it's too early to speculate about other layoffs.
OKLAHOMA CITY—For-profit chain Health Management Associates, Naples, Fla., announced that it had signed a definitive agreement to form a joint venture with not-for-profit Integris Health, which would result in HMA owning 80% of five Integris hospitals in Oklahoma and managing them. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Hospitals to be a part of the joint venture are: 49-bed Integris Clinton Regional Hospital; 39-bed Integris Mayes County Medical Center, Pryor; 32-bed Integris Seminole Medical Center; 31-bed Integris Blackwell Regional Hospital; and 21-bed Integris Marshall County Medical Center, Madill. The five hospitals generated approximately $95 million of revenue over the past 12 months, according to a news release from HMA. HMA had announced in November that it had entered into exclusive negotiations to form the joint venture with 12-hospital Integris. The transaction is subject to the usual regulatory approvals and is expected to close March 1, according to the news release.
BATON ROUGE, La.—LSU Health said it plans to lay off an unspecified number of employees at its seven hospitals and at the administration level to make up for a $29 million loss in federal funding. The system, which is operated by Louisiana State University and managed by the Health Care Services Division, posted the layoff notifications to the LSU Health website. The notices said the layoffs are set to take place March 5. The layoffs will occur at 74-bed Bogalusa (La.) Medical Center; 102-bed Earl K. Long Medical Center, Baton Rouge; 25-bed Lallie Kemp Regional Medical Center, Independence; 156-bed the Leonard J. Chabert Medical Center, Houma; 283-bed Interim LSU Public Hospital, New Orleans; 113-bed University Medical Center, Lafayette; and 31-bed the Walter O. Moss Regional Medical Center, Lake Charles. The website also said that the LSU Health Care Services Division Administration should expect layoffs. “This layoff is being proposed due to the inability of the Health Care Services Division to realize the additional federal funding for care delivered to the uninsured and Medicaid population amounting to $29 million during the current fiscal year,” Dr. Roxane Townsend, CEO of LSU Health System, said in each of the notices. LSU Health employs about 7,200 people, according to its website.
BATON ROUGE, La.—Louisiana Attorney General James “Buddy” Caldwell announced that five pharmaceutical companies agreed to pay the state $25.2 million to resolve allegations they misreported drug-pricing information to inflate reimbursement payments by the state's Medicaid program. Actavis, Boehringer Ingelheim, Dey, GlaxoSmithKline and Schering-Plough are the companies involved in the settlement announcement. A Caldwell spokeswoman said the state health department will receive more than $20 million from the settlement and the attorney general's office will get nearly $5 million. Caldwell's office sued more than 100 drug manufacturers and their subsidiaries over alleged fraudulent pricing and marketing of prescription drugs. A trial for some companies that haven't settled with Caldwell's office is scheduled for this year. The settlement agreements, which resolve allegations made in a lawsuit filed in 2010 in Louisiana's 19th Judicial District Court in Baton Rouge, stipulate that the pharmaceutical companies deny wrongdoing and do not concede any liability in connection with Caldwell's allegations. “These settlement funds are just the tip of the iceberg,” Caldwell said in a news release. Other state attorneys general and the U.S. Justice Department have pursued similar allegations against pharmaceutical companies, yielding hundreds of millions of dollars in settlement payments.
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