Ochsner, La. hospital team up to integrate services

St. Tammany Parish Hospital, Covington, La., and Ochsner Health System, New Orleans, plan to form a strategic partnership for integrated care in the region.

The not-for-profit hospital and the system signed a letter of intent for the agreement this month, but explained that it would have no effect on governance, employees or medical staff relationships at either organization. And there is currently no plan for the partners to exchange money, said Stafford Maestri, spokesman for Ochsner.

Instead, the partnership is expected to facilitate expansion of services, improved coordination of resources, sharing of best practices, implementation of technology and a continued focus on quality, according to a joint news release

Follow Rachel Landen on Twitter: @MHrlanden

New ED facility helps Shands see boost in revenue, patients

Shands Teaching Hospital and Clinics, an affiliate of the University of Florida, booked higher revenue from treating more patients during the first nine months of its fiscal year, but rising expenses resulted in a smaller surplus.

For the nine-months ended March 31, Gainesville-based Shands reported its acute-care, psychiatric and rehabilitation hospitals admitted 7.3% more patients than during the year-ago period.

Outpatient volume also increased 4.1%, while emergency and trauma visits increased 19.8%. The system attributed about two-thirds of the increase in emergency visits to the construction of an off-site, full-service emergency department in the northwest section of Gainesville. The facility opened last August.

Net patient-service revenue increased 5.4%, as not only volume, but patient acuity increased. While the system saw higher reimbursement from commercial insurers, some of those gains were offset by other factors, including an increase in observation stays.

Expenses grew 8.2%, mostly because of higher salary, benefit and supply costs. The system's surplus for the nine-month period fell to $77.2 million on revenue of $894.2 million, compared with $87.3 million on revenue of $846.2 million in the previous fiscal year.

Follow Beth Kutscher on Twitter: @MHbkutscher



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