Doctors System registers its stock No decision yet on going public

March 05, 1996|By M. William Salganik | M. William Salganik,SUN STAFF

Doctors Health System yesterday filed a registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission to give the Owings Mills-based medical group greater latitude in seeking physicians to join the organization in exchange for stock.

The filing also is a step that could permit DHS to sell stock to the public. But Dr. Scott Rifkin, chairman, said no decision has been made on going public.

Meanwhile, DHS is growing by getting individuals and group practices to join as partners in exchange for DHS stock. It already bills itself as the largest health-care system in Maryland owned by primary-care physicians.

Paul Serini, the group's executive vice president and director of legal affairs, said DHS had "outgrown" its capacity to operate without registration.

With the SEC filing, he said, physician partners will be freer to speak to other doctors and DHS representatives can speak to larger groups of doctors.

Eventually, DHS could raise capital through a public stock offering.

In December, it announced $8 million in financing through private sources, and said it expects $11 million more in the first quarter 1996.

DHS, which negotiates contracts with managed-care insurers, now has -- as partners or under contract -- more than 225 primary-care physicians, 100 obstetricians/gynecologists and 675 specialists.

Recruiting more doctors -- which the registration could facilitate -- gives DHS an edge in seeking contracts from insurers. * *TC For example, DHS signed a contract last week with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Maryland to participate in its Medicaid health maintenance organization. As DHS signs more contracts, the patients of its physicians have more insurance options.

Pub Date: 3/05/96

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