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USC's Keck School of Medicine brings its surgical expertise to Torrance Memorial.
USC's Keck School of Medicine brings its surgical expertise to Torrance Memorial.
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USC brings heart surgery expertise to Torrance, and other news

By Modern Healthcare
Posted: August 9, 2014 - 12:01 am ET

Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California has expanded its cardiac surgery services to Torrance (Calif.) Memorial Medical Center, a 377-bed community provider.

Five surgeons with USC's Keck Medical Center in Los Angeles have joined Torrance Memorial's medical staff and will support the hospital's cardiothoracic surgery program. Torrance will provide compensation for all professional services rendered.

Debby Kelley, vice president of ancillary and support services at Torrance, said in an e-mail that gaining access to USC surgeons will help to strengthen the reputation and quality of the hospital's heart program.

The organizations will work together on a variety of heart procedures, including complex valve repair and replacement and coronary artery bypass graft surgery.

“We also have access to the academic world, where new processes and procedures are developed, as well as access to training and a training facility,” Kelley said. “We are able to bring all of these resources to the community setting.” —Bob Herman

Follow Bob Herman on Twitter: @MHbherman

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Ore. premium rates for 2015 indicate smaller price spread

Oregon will see a much tighter range of premium prices in 2015 for individual and small employer health insurance plans, according to new rates announced by state regulators.

The Oregon Insurance Division says Moda Health, the company that captured nearly two-thirds of the individual market with some of the lowest prices in 2014, will see a 10.6% rate increase on average. The increase places the company in the middle of the pack in terms of premium prices and will affect more than 70,000 Moda enrollees.

Some of the smaller carriers will see rate decreases in 2015. Plans from Providence Health & Services and Trillium Community Health will both drop by about 14% on average, for example.

Overall, lower premiums will increase and higher premiums will decrease as a result of the new rates, Insurance Commissioner Laura Cali said, meaning that premium prices are converging in the middle, creating a smaller price range.

The rate information comes a few months ahead of the next open-enrollment period when customers can switch carriers, from Nov. 15 to Feb. 15.

Oregon officials say the rates are, at best, a starting point for consumers. —Associated Press

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