Companies in the news

Apria to record 4Q99 $131M tax benefit

Apria Healthcare Group (Costa Mesa, CA) said it will record a 4Q99 tax benefit of $131 million, which is expected to boost its earnings by about $2.44 per share. The increase, Apria said, will be recorded as an asset.

The tax benefit represents the tax effect of Apria’s $350 million of net operating loss carry-forwards and other net deductible items that are expected to be realized in future periods, reported the Orange County Register. Apria said it does not expect to be required to pay regular federal income taxes until at least 2001.

Beverly reaches settlement with government

Beverly Enterprises (Fort Smith, AR) agreed to pay $175 million to settle charges that it defrauded Medicare, and one of its subsidiaries last week pleaded guilty to criminal fraud. The federal government alleges that in a nationwide scheme, Beverly cheated Medicare out of $460 million from 1992 to 1998, reported the Washington Post. It is also alleged that employees of the company fabricated records to make it appear that nurses were devoting much more time to Medicare patients than they actually were.

IHHI sees increase in 1Q00 earnings

In Home Health (IHHI; Minnetonka, MN) reported a 1Q00 ended Dec. 31 net income of $910,000, 5 cents per share, an increase of 76% over 1Q99 net income of $517,000. The company’s net income available to common shareholders in 1Q00 was $260,000, 5 cents per share, compared to a net loss available to common shareholders in 1Q99 of $132,000, 2 cents per share.

IHHI saw revenues in 1Q00 totaling $22.8 million, up from 1Q99 total revenues of $18.6 million.

The improvements in net income and earnings per share, IHHI said, were the result of increases in both revenues and profit margins. Revenue increases of 23% were achieved through increased service volume in the company’s existing branches, as well as new clients served in six recently acquired home health agencies, IHHI said.

IHS files for Chapter 11

Integrated Health Services (IHS; Sparks, MD) filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection to reorganize the company’s debt obligations. To ensure that IHS has the working capital necessary to operate its business, it has obtained a commitment for up to $300 million in debtor-in-possession (DIP) financing with Citibank. The company has received the court’s permission, on an interim basis, to access the DIP financing to fund normal business operations and other cash needs during the bankruptcy proceeding, IHS said. The final hearing on the DIP financing is scheduled for Feb. 25.

Montefiore chooses new automation system

Montefiore Medical Center (New York) selected Triple G Systems Group’s (Markham, Ontario) Ultra Laboratory Information System for use in its health system, which includes two hospitals, 35 ambulatory centers, a network of neighborhood health centers, home healthcare, rehabilitation, and nursing home care to residents of the Bronx and southern Westchester, NY. Montefiore Chief Information Officer Jack Wolf said the company selected Triple G’s Ultra Laboratory system "for its rich functionality that addresses the needs of a complex medical center’s hybrid laboratory and for its state-of-the-art technology."

Option Care, SmithKline fight Lyme disease

Option Care (Bannockburn, IL) will work with SmithKline Beecham to implement a Lyme disease prevention program in Pennsylvania, the company said last week. For the agreement, Option Care will provide its LYMErix vaccination through clinics at corporate and satellite offices of employer groups and managed care participants.

Option Care President/CEO Mike Rusnak said the program is "the first in several immunization programs that Option Care plans to implement throughout the country."