Hospital Mergers May Rise
Business Week/Bloomberg: "Failure to pass the health-care overhaul may accelerate a push by Community Health Systems Inc., Health Management Associates Inc. and LifePoint Hospitals Inc. to acquire facilities weakened by the recession. The nation's largest publicly traded hospital chains are stalking medical centers that have been hurt by the cost of charity care and unpaid bills in a recession, and are no longer confident stalled health legislation will add 30 million newly insured customers, said Sheryl Skolnick, an analyst at CRT Capital Group LLC in Stamford, Connecticut. A third of 5,010 community hospitals had operating losses in 2008, according to the American Hospital Association" (Olmos, 2/2).
The Wichita Eagle: "Coventry Health Care said Monday that it had completed its acquisition of Preferred Health Systems, the wholly owned subsidiary of Via Christi Health. ... The Kansas Insurance Department, which gave its approval to the sale in late December, said earlier this year that the original sale price was $65 million ... Coventry, based in Bethesda, Md., serves more than 5 million people nationwide. (Shideler, 2/2).