Tenet names new CEO of flagging Conifer unit

• Conifer Health Solutions, Tenet’s revenue cycle management subsidiary, will welcome the fourth new CEO in 18 months, according to an announcement made Tuesday.

• J. Roger Davis spent 30 years in the industry working with stents at T-System, Accenture, Perot Systems (acquired by Dell), and IDX Systems (acquired by GE Healthcare). Most recently, he was CEO of revenue management company Revint Solutions.

• Last year, the for-profit hospital operator announced plans to outsource Conifer to an independent, publicly-traded company, although he has not yet done so. Tenet did not immediately respond to questions about the current division schedule.

The leadership change comes amid a nationwide surge in coronavirus cases, which pose a persistent threat to hospital finances.

Dallas-based Tenet posted a loss of $ 197 million in the third quarter. It found that the number of COVID-19 cases had increased in many of its markets by late summer, resulting in higher operating costs and fewer approvals overall.

Conifer, the value-based platform and revenue cycle management company, reported third-quarter net sales of $ 325 million, down 3.3% from the same period last year.

In December 2017, Tenet considered selling Conifer as part of a cost reduction program after a year of tough financial results.

Since then, this has proven to be a drag on the company’s results. Analysts at the time predicted that an imminent sale of the unit would be a smart move to offset losses and strengthen Tenet’s earnings as debt continued and hospitals were sold.

Following the low-end tripartite offers, Tenet announced that it would outsource Conifer to an independent, publicly-traded company in lieu of a direct sale or merger.

In January, Tenet named Joe Eazor president and CEO of Conifer, and said he would lead the branch division at an independent company. He later announced that Eazor would resign at the end of August and “will make this decision for personal reasons in his relationship with Conifer or Tenet,” he said in a statement.

Razor has replaced interim CEO Kyle Burtnett, who has returned to his previous role as COO of Conifer. Stephen Mooney previously served as CEO of Conifer.