DENVER-The Colorado Medical Society is exploring the possibility of developing a statewide health plan open to all providers. So far, it has sent out requests for proposals to managed-care organizations. "The real burning problem for doctors is access to patients," said Lee Truitt, M.D., chairman of the society's independent provider association task force. Hospitals, physicians and other providers would buy membership in the association and accept negotiated fee schedules. The society's plan is to decide by September if it should begin designing fee schedules. In March 1995 it would decide whether to actually go forward with the health plan.
BATON ROUGE, La.-Baton Rouge General Medical Center has become the city's second accredited teaching hospital. Earl K. Long Medical Center, a state-owned hospital, had been the city's sole accredited teaching facility. The accreditation is through the Association of American Medical Colleges. Baton Rouge General began training students about seven years ago through a program with Charity Hospital in New Orleans, but it lacked accreditation. In 1991, Baton Rouge General became a teaching hospital through a program with Earl K. Long and Louisiana State University.
DALLAS-Construction is under way on a $100 million expansion of the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center. The expansion includes new operating suites, intensive-care units, outpatient clinics, a cardiac catheterization laboratory, pharmacy, radiology department, laboratory and emergency department. A 30-bed spinal cord injury center also will be added. The 604-bed hospital treats patients from 30 counties in northern Texas.
BATON ROUGE, La.-The state of Louisiana could owe the federal government more than $300 million because of Medicaid overpayments to hospitals for psychiatric and substance-abuse treatment services. Late last year, state and federal agencies began investigating whether Louisiana hospitals were paid too much in Medicaid disproportionate-share funds for those services (Nov. 22, 1993, p. 34). Disproportionate-share funds compensate hospitals for treating large numbers of poor patients. An internal state memo estimates $140 million to $320 million could be owed, the Baton Rouge Advocate has reported. In the meantime, the state is issuing new payment standards for hospital-based psychiatric and substance-abuse treatment units.