COLUMBIA, S.C.-Baptist Medical Center and Providence Hospital have formed a joint venture to develop a PPO targeted at area employers and third-party payers. The yet-unnamed PPO ultimately will include physicians and ancillary healthcare facilities, said the hospitals, which will begin marketing the new network in March. The 459-bed Baptist and 221-bed Providence control 57% of the staffed inpatient beds in Columbia. The city's third hospital is county-owned, 511-bed Richland Memorial Hospital.
MEMPHIS, Tenn.-St. Francis Hospital has received two other inquiries about a possible merger or acquisition since it revealed that it has been discussing a possible merger with Methodist Hospitals of Memphis. Jay Boland, a spokesman for St. Francis, declined to disclose the names of the new suitors. He said they haven't made formal proposals, and there's no timetable for when St. Francis will make a decision on a partner. Mr. Boland also declined comment on how the new suitors would affect negotiations with Methodist. A merger between 587-bed St. Francis and 986-bed Methodist would create the largest hospital in the country, according to the latest bed figures from the American Hospital Association (Nov. 15, p. 6).
JACKSON, Miss.-Three hospitals and 344 physicians on their medical staffs in the Jackson area have formed a physician-hospital organization called Mississippi Health Partners. The three hospitals are 616-bed Mississippi Baptist Medical Center in Jackson, 444-bed St. Dominic/Jackson Memorial Hospital and 90-bed Rankin Medical Center in Brandon. The PHO plans to offer a preferred provider organization to area employers early next year, said Marcelo Ruvinsky, M.D., chairman of Mississippi Health Partners.
TAMPA, Fla.-A greater reliance on managed care and a shifting of costs to employees is primarily responsible for holding down Florida employers' healthcare cost increases to 2% in 1993, according to a survey of 300 employers by the Tampa office of William M. Mercer, an employee benefits company. Healthcare cost increases for employers averaged 8% in 1992, 13% in 1991, 20% in 1990 and 24% in 1989, the survey said. Employees' costs also rose an average of 2% in 1993 to $3,784 from $3,710, the survey said. Of the 300 companies, 59% offered either an HMO or PPO to their employees, compared with 48% in 1992, the survey said. Florida officials hope the state's managed-competition healthcare plan, which goes into effect early this year, also will help hold down costs for Medicaid recipients, state employees and small businesses.