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Four from long term care named among nation's fastest-growing small businesses.

Nashville-based American Healthways Inc., a provider of diabetes management programs to long term care facilities, was the country's fastest-growing small business in 2002, according to a new ranking by Fortune Small Business magazine.

Known as the FSB 100, the annual list is based on earnings, revenues and stock data for all public companies on the major exchanges with less than $200 million in annual revenue, according to FSB Executive Editor Joshua Hyatt.

American Healthways Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Thomas Cigarran said the FSB ranking reflects the importance of what his company does for health plans and employers nationwide. "Disease management is one of the few solutions to the rising health care costs plaguing the nation," Cigarran said.

In addition to diabetes management, American Healthways is the nation's largest provider of comprehensive disease management and care enhancement services, primarily helping health insurers and facilities manage patient costs.

The company's No. 1 ranking came largely on its three-year revenue growth. American Healthways posted a 63.6 percent total return from 2000-2002, placing it fourth overall in that category, according to FSB data. The company's revenue in 2002 was $75.1 million.

Santa Monica, Calif.-based real estate investment trust Anworth Mortgage and Denver-based Royal Gold, which collects and distributes royalties from gold and silver mines in North America, finished second and third overall.

Three other long term care-related companies--an acute care facility, a personal response alarm maker and a pressure management product manufacturer--made the FSB 100.

Houston-based Dynacq International, which provides acute care at facilities in Texas and Louisiana, ranked No. 8. It is one of only four companies to make the FSB list every year since its inception in 2001.

Framingham, Mass.-based Lifeline Systems Inc., a leading provider of personal response systems, ranked 49th.

Greenville, S.C.-headquartered Span-America Medical Systems Inc., which manufactures and supplies pressure management products for the medical market, ranked 63rd.

The three trades dominating this year's list--health care, energy and banking--represent a dramatic shift from FSB's inaugural roster in 2001, which featured 35 technology firms. Only two made the list this year, Hyatt notes.

Overall, only 23 companies from the 2002 list made the cut in 2003, according to Hyatt.

The entire FSB 100 list can be viewed at www.fsb.com.
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Title Annotation:Market Watch
Publication:Contemporary Long Term Care
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Aug 1, 2003
Words:378
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