Health Management Associates

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The former Naples-based hospital chain Health Management Associates will pay more than $260 million to resolve criminal and civil allegations of health-care fraud. 

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As Bayfront Health St. Petersburg transformed from a non-profit hospital losing money to a slimmed down for-profit venture with corporate headquarters in Tennessee, it reduced the amount of charity care the hospital provides, the Tampa Bay Times reports.

Two Florida hospitals --Lehigh Regional Medical Center  and Santa Rosa Medical Center in Milton -- are part of a nearly $16 million settlement involving allegations of false Medicare claims, according to a news release from  the U.S. Department of Justice.

The former leader of Charlotte Regional Medical Center in Punta Gorda was acquitted Thursday of charges he tried to boost referrals to the hospital by writing false information on letters and signing another doctor’s name to them, the Fort Myers News-Press reports.

Bayfront Health

Community Health Systems, which operates 24 hospitals in Florida, said a cyber attack took information on more than 4 million patients from its computer network earlier this year.

The Franklin, Tennessee, company said Monday that no medical or credit card records were taken in the attack, which may have happened in April and June. But Community said the attack did bypass its security systems to take patient names, addresses, birth dates, and phone and Social Security numbers.

Showing once again that hospitals' charges bear no relation to what a stay actually costs for most patients, Medicare officials on Monday released data showing sticker prices soared by four times the rate of inflation.

There are worrisome signs that actual spending is being forced up, as well, because of hospital systems' growing size. The bigger the hospital system, the more clout it tends to have in negotiating contracts with health plans.

The independently owned Bert Fish Medical Center is back on the market after a second try at acquisition fell through, the Orlando Sentinel reports. 

Public trading of shares for the Naples-based Health Management Associates chain ended Monday, as its multibillion-dollar sale neared completion. HMA’s 23 hospitals will now be added to the Community Health Systems’ chain.

The New York Stock Exchange suspended trading of the HMA stock, which has been converted into shares for its new parent company, Community Health Systems, according to corporate disclosure statements.

Troubling allegations continue to emerge that the Naples-based Health Management Associates illegally pressured doctors and hospital staffs to admit and illegally bill Medicaid and Medicare, all in the name of making money.

The Federal Trade Commission announced Wednesday that it will approve the sale of the troubled Naples-based hospital chain Health Management Associates if the buyer divests some of its holdings.

A barrage of television ads blasting UF Health and Tampa-area hospitals is being financed by a senior advocacy group aligned with conservative causes. The ads appear to support the position of Hospital Corporation of America in a lawsuit brought by the non-profits.

The U.S. Department of Justice has signed on to eight false claims lawsuits against Health Management Associates, claiming the Naples-based hospital chain billed for unnecessary patient admissions and paid kickbacks to doctors who referred patients.

The government specifically alleges that former HMA executive Gary Newsome personally led the push to pressure emergency department physicians and hospital administrators to increase the number of inpatient admissions, “regardless of medical necessity,” the Department said in a statement.

Tennessee-based Community Health Systems is a step closer to its purchase of the Health Management Associates chain and its 23 hospitals in Florida. Shareholders nearly unanimously approved the buyout Wednesday in Naples, despite a small protest from members of a nurses union, according to the Fort Myers News-Press.

A former Health Management Associates hospital executive has been indicted on charges of falsifying records and impeding a federal investigation, the Tampa Bay Times reports. Joshua S.

The new board of directors at Health Management Associates, Inc. has approved a merger with Community Health Systems, Inc., the Ocala Star-Banner reports. The $7.6-billion deal was announced in July, but soon after, several new members became part of the HMA board. The board unanimously approved the acquisition by CHS.

hma.com

Alan Levine, who became the face of Health Management Associates when the hospital chain was the focus of a negative "60 Minutes" broadcast last year, has been recruited to lead a group of non-profit hospitals in Tennessee. 

Levine, 46, will become president and CEO of Mountain States Health Alliance in Johnson City, Tenn., in early January, according to a press release. Mountain States' current president is retiring.

Glenview Capital Management, a hedge fund that owns 14.6 percent of Health Management Associates, says it has captured the votes of a majority of shareholders to oust the board of the Naples-based hospital chain.

Melissa Lyttle / Tampa Bay Times

Some who questioned the sale of Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg to a for-profit corporation in April were left even more uneasy Tuesday amid news that the new owner -- Health Management Associates -- could be sold to Tennessee-based Community Health Systems Inc. HMA owns 23 hospitals in the state and dozens of clinics. 

A number of publications around the state took note of how the prospective sale, which creates the largest for-profit hospital chain in the country, could affect their area: 

Community Health Systems agreed Tuesday to pay $3.6 billion in cash and stock for Naples-based Health Management Associates, which will give Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg a new owner.

The combination of the two for-profit chains will total 206 hospitals in 29 states, the New York Times reports.

Tampa Bay Times

  Some hospitals that have been bought out by Health Management Associates (HMA) -- including St. Petersburg's Bayfront Medical Center -- may get an unwelcome surprise, The Tampa Bay Times reports.

Health Management Associates Inc.’s  largest investor wants to get rid of the health firm's current board of directors, Bloomberg News reports. The Naples-based hospital chain has been trying to prevent the takeover by Glenview Capital Management, which filed paperwork on Tuesday to nominate new board members.

Health Management Associates Inc., a Naples-based hospital chain that owns about two dozen hospitals in Florida, announced it has hired high-profile advisers in an attempt to prevent a hostile takeover by its largest shareholder.

Gary Newsome, who has been CEO of a Naples-based hospital chain for five years, is retiring to become a Mormon missionary in South America, the Naples News reports, citing a release from the corporation's board of directors.

Newsome will be president of the Uruguay-Montevideo Mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 35 years after serving as a missionary in that country.

Fast-growing Health Management Associates has received a subpoena from the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Naples-based hospital company told  investors on Thursday.

HMA was already under investigation by the Justice Department, a probe announced last summer that allegedly involved emergency room admissions. Now the SEC wants information on the chain's accounting practices. The agency asked for documents related to Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance, the company said in a news release.

Tampa Bay Times

Pasco Regional Medical Center, owned by for-profit Health Management Associates, will close its obstetrics unit Sept. 1, the Tampa Bay Times reports. The CEO calls the closure a business decision: The Dade City hospital can’t keep up with rising medical costs as more mothers choose to give birth at other nearby hospitals. 

 

In the wake of Health Management Associates' announcement Tuesday that first-quarter earnings would be lower than predicted, analysts speculated on reasons for it and what, if anything, it means.  They disagreed on whether this is a reason to sell the stock or buy more of it while it's in a dip.

For-profit Health Management Associates has officially taken ownership of 80 percent of Bayfront Health, and the former not-for-profit in St. Petersburg now also has a new logo and president, the Tampa Bay Times reports.  

Naples Daily News

A federal judge has thrown out a complaint by a former hospital executive at Physicians Regional in Collier County against the parent corporation Health Management Associates, the Naples Daily News reports. The suit had alleged the hospital system of paying kickbacks to doctors for referrals, but the judge ruled there was not enough evidence to proceed to trial.   

Kathryn Gillette will be the CEO and Market President for Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg, according to a news release.  

Gillette will lead a regional network that will be called Bayfront Health System beginning April 1, when for-profit Health Management Associates takes over 80 percent ownership.  

Fort Myers News-Press

A fight is brewing over the right to build a hospital for southern Lee County, Fort Myers News-Press reports. HMA was first to file an application with the state; Lee Memorial Health System filed on Wednesday.

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