HCA operates 164 hospitals and 106 surgery centers in the United States and Britain. It was just last month that they announced their re-organization plans prior to the IPO. Late at the end of last year we had a nurses’ strike at one of their facilities in southern California, which seems to be growing these days and it’s not over money for most of them, it’s working conditions. Also what we all remember is Florida governor Scott being forced to resign as the CEO of Columbia/HCA, then the country’s largest hospital chain, while it was being investigated for massive Medicare and Medicaid fraud. The company ultimately pleaded guilty to 14 felonies and ended up paying $1.7 billion in fines and settlements. This is still not over as a couple doctors also filed another lawsuit at the end of last year. In the long term, I don’t know where all of this is going to go as there’s a lot of Health IT expense coming up and fast so there’s a lot of money to be invested with the health IT communication systems, medical records an so on. By comparison when you look at a closed system like Kaiser Permanente, they are organized and expand that way so they are growing from the roots up instead of having to put together big puzzles so every piece fits, which is kind of what’s going on here. they could pull it off but again patient care and health insurance reform will play a role. BD
(Reuters) – Shares of private equity-backed hospital operator HCA Holdings Inc (HCA.N) closed 3.4 percent higher on Thursday in a strong stock market debut, even as the broad market sank. The shares closed at $31.02 after rising as much as 5 percent to $31.50 earlier in the session — above the $30 pricing in an initial public offering on Wednesday. HCA’s IPO was the biggest private equity-backed offering ever in the United States and is likely to encourage a new round of exits this year. Private equity-backed IPOs so far this year have totaled $10.4 billion or 83 percent of the overall market, according to Thomson Reuters data. The top U.S. for-profit hospital operator overcame concerns about its high levels of debt and the possible downside from a new U.S. healthcare law, selling more shares than anticipated at the high end of the given price range.