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  1. #1
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    azskeptic is offline Moderator 666 points
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    Medical College of Pennsylvania Hospital closing

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    http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald...ss/7664951.htm

    Tenet's rescue efforts fall short in Philadelphia
    ***** B. CARUSO
    Associated Press

    PHILADELPHIA - Tenet Healthcare was welcomed as a white knight when it galloped into Philadelphia in late 1998 and bought eight hospitals from a beleaguered owner that had taken them into bankruptcy.

    Five years later, the company's ride to the rescue has lost some of its luster.

    Battered by financial problems of its own, Tenet was unable to save City Avenue Hospital, which closed in 2000. Parkview Hospital shut its doors in September after an attempt to sell it failed. A third medical center, ****** Park Hospital, was spared in November only when a buyer was found.

    Now, another planned shut down has consumed more of the reservoir of good will.

    Tenet, the nation's largest for-profit hospital company, announced in December that it planned to close the Medical College of Pennsylvania Hospital, a 153-year-old institution that was part of the nation's first medical school for women.

    The 379-bed hospital had been losing $5 million a month, Tenet said, and was projected to lose another $35 million in 2004.

    A group of doctors and hospital employees has filed a lawsuit attempting to block the closure, planned for March 31, and a judge on Thursday extended an order barring Tenet from taking any steps to shut the hospital down until a hearing in late February.

    The sale announcement, which came just as the hospital's nurses announced an end to a five-week strike, has gone over poorly in a city that had been surprisingly hospitable to for-profit medicine.

    Philadelphia City Councilman Michael Nutter, who had been one of Tenet's public supporters, abruptly resigned his post as chairman of the company's community board upon hearing the news.

    "I think the five years Tenet has been here have been mostly positive ... but this has severely damaged a model partnership and relationship with Philadelphia," Nutter said.

    MCP trauma nurse Ginny Holzworth said the hospital's staff viewed Tenet as a savior when it arrived five years ago with the slogan 'Let the healing begin,' but now calls the company "a cancer that we have let into our city."

    There were few bad words when Tenet arrived in 1998.

    The company paid $345 million to purchase remnants of the Pittsburgh-based Allegheny Health Education and Research Foundation, which had collapsed amid allegations of mismanagement.

    In doing so, Tenet also saved Allegheny's medical school, which is now called MCP Hahnemann University and is part of Drexel University in Philadelphia.

    Saving the network of small hospitals has been tougher.

    Analysts said Tenet has been hindered by an unforgiving market where health care costs are high, Medicare rates are stagnant and the population is shrinking. Eastern Pennsylvania's health insurance market is also dominated by just two companies - Independence Blue Cross and Aetna - meaning that there is little opportunity to negotiate higher payment rates.

    The company is also in trouble nationally. The Justice Department sued Tenet for allegedly overbilling Medicare to inflate its revenues. Tenet recently paid $54 million to settle charges that doctors in California performed hundreds of unnecessary heart surgeries.

    The company also saw profits evaporate when it was forced to revise its billing practices after a federal probe into its pricing policies. It has sold several hospitals around the country this year that were losing money.

    "When you're trying to execute a turnaround and your profits drop so deeply, you have to look into ways to cut your losses," said Darren Lehrich, a health care analyst with SunTrust Robinson Humphrey in New York.

    Even with the closures, Tenet's presence in Philadelphia remains significant.

    Of its eight original holdings, the company still owns Hahnemann University Hospital, Graduate Hospital, Warminster Hospital and St. Christopher's Hospital for Children. It purchased the 125-bed Roxborough Memorial Hospital in 2002.

    Tenet spokesman Jeff Jubelirer said those hospitals "are doing fairly well, financially," and that the Santa Barbara, Calif.-based company has no further closures planned.

    "They've put $200 million into Pennsylvania over the last five years," Jubelirer said. "They certainly tried with MCP. But it is a very difficult hospital, and the circumstances are incredibly challenging. It just couldn't be sustained anymore."

    ON THE NET

    The Save Medical College of Pennsylvania Hospital Coalition: http://www.smcph.org

    Tenet Healthcare Corp.: http://www.tenethealth.com
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  2. #2
    jguru2 is offline Member 510 points
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    Missouri/TENET hosp sales

    Tenet completes sale of southeast Missouri hospitals
    http://www.bizjournals.com/stlouis/s...3/daily10.html

    there was one more in Jonesboro, Arkansas (regional medical) that was sold late last year.
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  3. #3
    jguru2 is offline Member 510 points
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    Carpe Diem
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    St. Matthew's University School of Medicine
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