Vanguard Health Systems, Nashville, said it has completed its acquisition of two hospitals from tax-exempt Resurrection Health Care, Chicago. Investorowned Vanguard said in a securities filing that it ended up paying $45.4 million in the deal, which included working capital. According to documents filed to win certificate-of-need approval from Illinois regulators, Vanguard was scheduled to pay $40 million for 181-bed Westlake Hospital, Melrose Park, and 152-bed West Suburban Medical Center, Oak Park. The deal gives Vanguard three hospitals in the near west suburbs of Chicago, including 338-bed MacNeal Hospital, Berwyn, and 12 hospitals with 16 campuses in four states. Vanguard’s proposed purchase of six-hospital Detroit Medical Center for $1.27 billion (including a capital commitment of $850 million) is still pending regulatory approval. The deal leaves Resurrection Health Care with six hospitals, all in the Chicago area.
Illinois healthcare providers moved one step closer to interoperable electronic data-sharing as Gov. Pat Quinn signed a bill creating the Health Information Exchange authority. Under the new law, the state authority will establish and oversee the Illinois Health Information Exchange and will work to promote adoption of electronic health-record systems and health information exchange participation. Illinois will receive $18.8 million in federal funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 to develop and maintain the exchange, according to a news release. The law is effective immediately.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court ordered the state government last month to return $200 million drawn from a fund established to mitigate the costs of medical liability. Under a 1975 law, healthcare providers are required to pay assessments into the fund and carry a certain level of malpractice insurance. The fund pays out the portion of malpractice claims in excess of that limit. In 2007 state lawmakers approved legislation providing for the transfer of $200 million from the liability fund to prop up the Medicaid program. The transfer caused assessments to rise by nearly 10%, and the fund had to draw a loan from the state’s investment fund to cover a negative balance. The Wisconsin Medical Society filed a lawsuit in 2007 to challenge the transfer, which was dismissed by a lower court that ruled the fund did not create contractual obligations to providers, before reaching the Supreme Court on appeal.