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Spreading the Gospel of HealthTrust
Communication, Employee Participation Keys to Company's Rapid Success
There is something terribly satisfying about taking someone else's dross and turning it into gold.
And while the 89 remaining hospitals of the original 104 purchased by HealthTrust from Hospital Corporation of America may not yet be 24-carat, many are shining much more brightly than when HealthTrust bought them in September 1987.
By almost any yardstick, HealthTrust has performed better than most observers expected it could after a group of former HCA managers financed the $2.2 billion transaction through one of the largest Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOP) ever done in the U.S. Some health-care watchers, in fact, looked at the deal with amazement, wondering how HCA managed to convince its own managers and employees to fund the purchase of what it considered its weakest-performing properties.
Said one health-care analyst to the Washington Post upon the formation of HealthTrust: "HCA is merely sloughing off its problems on the backs of workers and the communities they serve." Another analyst said HCA was pulling off a coup in "selling off these losers." So much for the analysts: in February of this year, HealthTrust's bonds were rated higher than HCA's. And the same analysts were worrying about whether …