Wednesday, March 31, 2010

San Angelo Threads to Obama's Health Reform

White House Health Czar Nancy-Ann DeParle twice had San Angelo in her cross hairs. As a board member of Triad Hospitals, she noted the planned merger between Shannon Health System (SHS) and Triad in October 2006. I wrote a piece critical of the merger in the Standard Times. The Board cancelled the deal shortly thereafter.

At the time SHS CEO Dr. Dan Stultz stood ready to assume Texas Hospital Association's CEO role. He said to me:

"There's no guarantee the nonprofit community hospital model will survive."

Nancy-Ann's second sighting of San Angelo came as managing director of CCMP Capital Advisers. Her private equity firm bid on Triad Hospitals in February 2007. At the time Triad owned San Angelo Community Medical Center (SACMC).

When CCMP lost to Community Health Systems, DeParle's firm bankrolled the start up of Legacy Hospital Partners, led by former Triad CEO Denny Shelton. In September 2007 Shelton spoke at Angelo State University on "The Future of Healthcare." The Obama White House position on health reform could've come straight from Denny's talk.

As a private equity underwriter (PEU) and board member Nancy-Ann DeParle bought and sold for-profit hospital companies. Her firms converted struggling or imploded nonprofit community hospitals to for-profit status. Her handiwork touched San Angelo before and it will again. The question is how?

While my piece on the SHS-Triad proposed merger is no longer available on the Standard Times website, it can be accessed here.

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