Operating Room Mishap

When Medical Care International Inc. merged with Critical Care America Inc. last September, the new company seemed tailor-made for the increasingly competitive health-care market. By combining Medical Care's outpatient surgery centers with Critical Care's home-infusion business, the company would be a virtual hospital without walls. That, in turn, would allow the newly rechristened Medical Care America Inc. to profit handsomely from the rising demand for low-cost outpatient services. All in all, it "was an incredibly brilliant idea," says Patrick S. Smith, the former CEO of Critical Care who served for a while as chairman of Medical Care America.

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