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Friday, June 9, 2000

Financially ailing
PhyCor’s top execs resign

From staff and wire reports


PhyCor Inc., which manages physician networks and operates medical clinics including Straub Clinic & Hospital in Honolulu, announced the resignations today of its chairman and chief executive, Joseph C. Hutts, and its vice chairman, Derril W. Reeves.

PhyCor named president Thompson S. Dent to replace Hutts as chairman and chief executive. PhyCor did not name a replacement for Reeves. Hutts will remain on the company's board. Nashville, Tenn.-based PhyCor operates about 20 physician networks with more than 25,000 physicians and manages about 40 medical clinics. The company has been losing money over the past two years and its stock has lost most of its value.

The shares were unchanged at 69 cents today on the Nasdaq stock market. The stock, which traded as high as $41.75 in 1996, is down 63.3 percent so far this year.

PhyCor's recent problems include a rating cut on its debt, a lawsuit over an Atlanta-based physician's network it bought in 1998, and the closing of its medical clinic in Mesa, Ariz., because of financial troubles. In its mid-May report of a $26 million first-quarter loss, PhyCor said nine of its clinics have been put up for sale. A spokesman would not say whether Straub was one of them.

A Straub spokeswoman, Ann Nishida, said there have been no talks with potential buyers. PhyCor has made a number of cost-cutting changes at Straub, laying off about 40 employees last year and cutting physicians' pay by up to 30 percent. PhyCor acquired Straub's assets in early 1997 and signed a management agreement with its physicians' group, which remains a separate entity but has equal representation with PhyCor on a Straub policy board.

Star-Bulletin reporter Russ Lynch and the
Dow Jones News Service contributed to this report.

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