|An American Hospital Association spokeswoman last week confirmed a long-circulating rumor that the AHA intends to abandon its historic headquarters building on Chicago's Near North Side in favor of new office space in the heart of downtown Chicago. Because negotiations involving the new office are ongoing, the spokeswoman declined to reveal the site or timetable for the move. However, she said the space being considered represents a "sizable reduction" in office space. The AHA's current two-building complex has 180,000 square feet of office space.
|President Clinton announced the appointment late last month of Harold Ickes to head the White House's lobbying effort on healthcare reform. As deputy chief of staff, Mr. Ickes, a New York labor attorney, will work under Thomas "Mack" McLarty, White House chief of staff, starting Jan. 3. The late December announcement ended weeks of speculation about Mr. Ickes' appointment. At a press briefing, Mr. McLarty said Mr. Ickes would be responsible for "public and political outreach|.|.|.|with an emphasis on healthcare."
|Incoming New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani has nominated New Jersey Health Commissioner Bruce Siegel, M.D., to be the next president of the city's Health and Hospitals Corp. If elected by HHC's board, Dr. Siegel, 33, would replace Billy Jones, M.D., the corporation's president since April 1992. The New York system operates 11 acute-care hospitals, five long-term-care hospitals, the city's emergency ambulance service and numerous clinics. It has an annual budget of $3 billion.
|HealthTrust-The Hospital Co. reported continued profitability for its first quarter ended Nov. 30, 1993. The Nashville, Tenn.-based hospital chain reported a 17% increase in net income to $38.9 million, or 46 cents per share, from $33.3 million, or 40 cents per share. Revenues rose 5% to $622.1 million. HealthTrust operates 81 hospitals in 21 states. For the 77 hospitals it has operated since the beginning of fiscal 1993, the company reported a 1.3% increase in admissions and a 4.4% increase in adjusted admissions, which are a mix of inpatient admissions and outpatient activity.
|Sister Dona has been named president and chief executive officer of Sisters of Providence Health System, Seattle, effective Jan. 17. She replaces Donald Brennan, who recently was appointed to the Washington State Health Services Commission. Mr. Brennan served as Providence's CEO for 13 years. Sister Taylor, who has worked for the Sisters of Providence since 1965, is administrator of Providence Hospital in Anchorage, Alaska. She also was president of the system from 1973 to 1975. Sisters of Providence operates 14 hospitals with 3,297 beds in four states.
|As of Jan. 1, Blue Shield of California dropped all health exclusions from its health insurance plans, including exclusions for specific medical problems or pre-existing medical conditions, for individual enrollees and their families, without raising premium rates. But the San Francisco-based company will continue to refuse coverage to some applicants with complicated illnesses, such as AIDS, and some forms of cancer.
|A jury last week awarded $77 million in punitive damages as well as $12.1 million in compensatory damages to the estate of a woman whose HMO refused to pay for a bone-marrow transplant to treat her breast cancer in 1992 because it was considered experimental. A jury in Riverside County (Calif.) Superior Court found that Health Net, Woodland Hills, Calif., acted in bad faith, breached its contract and recklessly inflicted emotional distress. The plaintiff, Nelene Fox, of Temecula, Calif., died in April. The case was continued by her husband and estate.
|Washington-based Lewin-VHI has named Kevin J. Sexton, former president of Cleveland-based MetroHealth Medical Center, as director and vice president of the healthcare policy and management consulting firm's East Coast healthcare practice. Mr. Sexton resigned from MetroHealth last February after a dispute over a special compensation arrangement for MetroHealth's then chief executive, Henry Manning.
|Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and Massachusetts Associated Physicians, a loose-knit suburban 170-physician group, intend to jointly develop a primary-care group practice consisting of at least 40 of the 55 generalists in the year-old multispecialty group based in Framingham and Natick. The primary-care physicians, none of whom are now on the Massachusetts General staff, will continue to have significant autonomy and be able to refer patients to other hospitals.