Monday, July 02, 2007

Justice Department Should Look Closely at Carlyle, Manor Care Deal

I wrote the Justice Department with my concerns about the Carlyle Group's just announced acquisition of Manor Care, Inc. The text is below:

Dear Justice Department Representative,

My background is hospital administration. Having been through several mergers I have some understanding of what you can and cannot consider. If a sale would jeopardize patient safety, can it be held up?

My concern is The Carlyle Group's acquisition of Manor Care in light of their poor performance keeping patients in another health care subsidiary safe after Hurricane Katrina. Carlyle closed the LifeCare Hospitals deal just weeks before the category 3 storm made landfall.

The news is full of reports of the poor management of patients in both the LifeCare Hospital and Tenet's Memorial Hospital as they shared a building.

Both a doctor and a number of nurses have been charged criminally in the case and numerous civil cases have been brought against Tenet and LifeCare. The Carlyle sub's defense is why serious thought should be given to approving the Manor Care acquisition.

LifeCare claims the federal government became responsible for their patients when President Bush declared the federal disaster. While they may be free to claim this in court in an effort to discard any liability, this should be considered as Carlyle tries to acquire other health care companies housing large numbers of patients.

They proved their inability to keep non credentialed providers away from their patients in Memorial Hospital to the detriment of those in their care. Your office should give this serious thought if it has any review responsibility for the Carlyle Group/Manor Care deal.

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