Mar 13, 2017

Chinese billionaire turns activist on Community Health Systems

Northwest Medical Center in Arkansas, owned by Community Health Systems. (Wikimedia Commons)

Tianqiao Chen, a billionaire from China who made his fortune in online gambling, is no longer just a passive investor in Community Health Systems, the for-profit hospital chain that has been selling off hospitals to pay down its massive debt.

Chen disclosed Monday with the Securities and Exchange Commission that his 13.7% ownership stake in Community Health Systems (which cost $186 million) was originally a passive investment. But now he wants to "maintain flexibility going forward." He said he has a "good relationship" with the company's executives and will work with them on the "ongoing turnaround strategy," according to the SEC filing.

What this means: Rumors surfaced last year that Community Health Systems could try to sell itself outright. But inpatient facilities and mounds of debt aren't exactly attractive to health care investors, and many have already bailed on Community Health Systems. Chen could have a more aggressive plan in mind for the company, which has been divesting hospitals at a rapid pace. Community Health Systems and Chen's investment company did not respond to requests for comment.

Go deeper

House passes bill to make lynching a federal hate crime

Photo: Aaron P. Bauer-Griffin/GC Images via Getty Images

The House voted 410-4 on Wednesday to pass legislation to designate lynching as a federal hate crime.

Why it matters: Congress has tried and failed for over 100 years to pass measures to make lynching a federal crime.

This year's census may be the toughest count yet

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Community leaders are concerned that historically hard-to-count residents will be even harder to count in this year's census, thanks to technological hurdles and increased distrust in government.

Why it matters: The census — which will count more than 330 million people this year — determines how $1.5 trillion in federal funding gets allocated across state and local governments. Inaccurate counts mean that communities don't get their fair share of those dollars.

Live updates: Coronavirus spreads to Latin America

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

Brazil confirmed the first novel coronavirus case in Latin America Wednesday — a 61-year-old that tested positive after returning from a visit to northern Italy, the epicenter of Europe's outbreak.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed more than 2,700 people and infected over 81,000 others. By Wednesday morning, South Korea had the most cases outside China, with 1,261 infections. Europe's biggest outbreak is in Italy, where 374 cases have been confirmed.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health