Health Management Associates, Inc. (NYSE: HMA) today commented on a report regarding the company on the television program 60 Minutes. According to their report, 60 Minutes conducted more than a year of research and found no issues with the quality of care at Health Management hospitals, stating on the broadcast that "hardly anyone we talked to complained about the quality of care at HMA hospitals." It was also notable that 60 Minutes failed to identify a single patient who had been inappropriately admitted from any of the company’s emergency rooms, including by the physicians interviewed. Neither 60 Minutes nor the physicians interviewed identified any admission decision in which a physician's medical judgment was overridden by an HMA executive, much less to defraud Medicare. 60 Minutes did not in any way dispute the admissions data it was provided by Health Management over the last several months. That data demonstrated that admissions rates from the company’s emergency rooms were in-line with national norms and consistent over a several year period. Instead, 60 Minutes relied entirely on disgruntled former employees of the company and former contracted physicians, several of whom are seeking financial gain through active litigation with Health Management. On November 30, 2012, just after being notified that 60 Minutes was moving forward with its broadcast, Health Management held a conference call in which it provided key data about admissions from its emergency rooms. The information presented on the call, and additional information added since the program’s airing, are instructive about the 60 Minutes segment and available for viewing on the Investor Relations section of HMA.com. Health Management enables America’s best local health care by providing the people, processes, capital and expertise necessary for its hospital and physician partners to fulfill their local missions of delivering superior health care services. Health Management, through its subsidiaries, operates 70 hospitals with approximately 10,500 licensed beds in non-urban communities located throughout the United States.
Community Health Systems may close its $7.6 billion acquisition of Health Management Associates, but with the uncertainties of a new healthcare law and the merger partners' own legal problems, it needed good timing to put reasonable financing in place.