|The Medicare hospital insurance trust fund will be $5 billion in the red by fiscal 1998 and $13 billion short in 1999, according to a new report by the Congressional Budget Office. Medicare and Medicaid spending will together be $2 billion less in the current fiscal year than previously anticipated, primarily because of spending reductions enacted last year, the CBO said. The agency forecast Medicare spending of $160 billion in fiscal 1994, with growth rates of 10% a year, reaching $238 billion in 1998.
|Executives of the Health Insurance Association of America met with top White House health advisers last week, but said they came away with no assurances that their concerns about the president's reform plan would be addressed, said Chip Kahn, executive vice president of the group. He described the meeting as "cordial." HIAA last week launched a new round of television ads criticizing the mandatory health alliances in the Clinton plan. The ad campaign will run through Feb. 20. The meeting, arranged by House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dan Rostenkowski (D-Ill.), was an effort to end the feud between the White House and the association (Jan. 24, p. 16).
|Vencor has acquired 60-bed Clay Memorial Hospital, a Green Cove Springs, Fla., facility that closed about two years ago. Terms weren't disclosed. The hospital has been renamed Vencor Hospital-North Florida and is the system's fourth in that state. Louisville, Ky.-based Vencor now operates 30 hospitals. The company last week also bought Second Foundation, a South Burlington, Vt.-based computer firm. Second Foundation is being merged into Ventech Systems, a Vencor subsidiary that develops computer-based patient information systems.
|Registered nurses at Kaiser Permanente of Northern California last week voted to ratify a new three-year agreement with the giant HMO, averting proposed walkouts by about 8,000 nurses affiliated with the California Nurses Association at 29 hospitals and health clinics. The agreement calls for a 9% wage increase over three years; improvements in hospital staffing ratios, pension plan and retirement benefits; and a delay in the implementation in 1995 of $5 copayments for health benefits.
|Eight months after the merger of Christian Health Services and Barnes-Jewish in St. Louis was approved, the 16-member board agreed last week to name the new organization BJC Health System. Fred L. Brown, BJC's president and chief executive officer, said the name was chosen to indicate that the system's strength comes from its individual institutions. "However, one of our naming criteria was that it be easy to remember, so we're going for a streamlined version for everyday use," Mr. Brown said. Late last year, BJC chose to align with Voluntary Hospitals of America, Irving, Texas, over American Healthcare Systems, San Diego, and Premier Health Alliance, Westchester, Ill. As Missouri's largest healthcare system, BJC controls 13 hospitals and 3,113 beds, giving it a 25% share of the market in the St. Louis area.
|Greater Southeast Healthcare System in Washington has named Dalton Tong as president and chief executive officer. Mr. Tong, 43, was formerly executive vice president under CEO Thomas Chapman, who left Greater Southeast late last year for George Washington University Hospital, where he became CEO and senior executive vice president for network development. Mr. Tong's replacement as executive vice president hasn't been named.
|Terry R. White, 53, is returning to Cleveland, this time as the new chief executive officer at MetroHealth System. Mr. White will leave his job as CEO at 707-bed University of Cincinnati Hospital in early March. Before joining UCH, he served as senior executive vice president at University Hospitals in Cleveland. Mr. White fills a spot left vacant by Henry Manning, who was ousted by the system board last March. In his new position, Mr. White will be the top executive for a system that includes 694-bed MetroHealth Medical Center, affiliated clinics and MetroHealth Center for Rehabilitation.
|The Medical College of Ohio at Toledo has agreed to be merged with ProMedica Health Systems, the parent company of Toledo Hospital. As part of the deal, Toledo Hospital will lease the medical college with an option to purchase it at an estimated price of $60 million. Daniel J. Rissing, president and chief executive officer of ProMedica, will act as president and CEO of the merged hospitals. Roger C. Bone, M.D., the college's president, also will serve as president of medical and academic affairs of the merged medical center.
|Brim Healthcare has completed a $4.1 million purchase of 116-bed Ojai Valley (Calif.) Community Hospital. It's the fifth hospital owned by Brim, which also manages 61 others in 22 states. Ojai is in Ventura County northeast of Los Angeles.
|In recognition of its increasingly diverse membership, the Hospital Association of New York State has changed its name to the Healthcare Association of New York State. HANYS also elected Jon B. Schandler to serve as chairman of the board this year. Mr. Schandler is president and chief executive officer of White Plains (N.Y.) Hospital Center. HANYS represents more than 400 not-for-profit and public healthcare institutions.
|Abbott Laboratories reported that its 1993 net earnings rose 13% to $1.4 billion, or $1.69 per share, from $1.2 billion, or $1.47 per share, in 1992. Worldwide sales for the Abbott Park, Ill.-based supplier rose 7.1% to $8.4 billion. In other news, Abbott said it signed a new five-year, multimillion-dollar contract to supply intravenous products to facilities in Irving, Texas-based Voluntary Hospitals of America. Anticipated revenues from the contract and its terms were not disclosed.