MEDPARTNERS: Judge Approves Sale of PPMs
A state bankruptcy court judge has "approved a series of deals" that clear the way for MedPartners' Provider Network Inc. to sell its physician practice management operations in California to eleven buyers. The deals, which are expected to be completed within two weeks, would leave just one MedPartners PPM operation in the state for the time being -- the Riverside Medical Clinic. The judge is scheduled to consider a deal for the sale of that clinic on Aug. 10. CEO Mac Crawford's plans call for MedPartners to be completely out of the PPM business by the end of the year. And Gary Stevenson, an anaylst with Morgan Keegan & Co., said the company should have less difficulty selling off PPMs in other states, but he noted that the investment community "will not be completely satisfied until" all are sold. He said, "Most won't see this as a pure-play until they clean out everything." He added, "This was one of the most contentious situations (MedPartners) could have imagined when they started this process and they've come through it fine. I'm bullish about the company's prospects. I was bullish before, and this just adds to my bullishness" (Tomberlin, Birmingham News, 7/21).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.