OKLAHOMA CITY-Four physician-hospital organizations are forming the Oklahoma Alliance, which is expected to compete for managed-care and Medicaid contracts. The group is composed of PHOs from Baptist Medical Center, Southwest Medical Center and Deaconess Hospital, all in Oklahoma City, and Edmond (Okla.) Regional Medical Center. The alliance will represent about 600 physicians and is expected to be completed in about a month, executives said.
DENVER-Colorado's Legislature is considering turning Denver Health and Hospitals, which runs the city's 348-bed public hospital, into an independent authority. Under a new Senate bill, the authority would contract with Denver to provide indigent care. The move would give Denver General Hospital more freedom to borrow money, buy supplies and hire employees, said C.L. Harmer, a hospital spokeswoman. The hospital still would follow the city's rule that its employees live in Denver, but it would be able to offer differing benefit packages. For example, now it can't buy extra insurance for employees who are at risk for HIV exposure because Denver requires that all city employees be offered the same benefits, Ms. Harmer said.
PECOS, Texas-Richard C. Hoeth, administrator of the Reeves County Hospital District here, has been named director of rural affairs for the Texas Hospital Association. He will assume his new duties on March 8. Mr. Hoeth, 48, had been administrator of 62-bed Reeves County Hospital since 1992.
TYLER, Texas-East Texas Medical Center is the first hospital to be designated as a Level II trauma center under new state guidelines. In 1992, the state developed statewide standards for trauma care by which hospitals can be designated under four different levels. Two hospitals in Texas, Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas and University Medical Center in Lubbock, are the state's only Level I trauma centers, the highest designation under the state's new guidelines. East Texas' Level II center is the leading trauma facility because the region doesn't have a Level I center, hospital executives said.
AUSTIN, Texas-The Texas VISTA Health Corps is the nation's first group of VISTA volunteers eligible to receive the national service education benefit of $4,725 for each volunteer as proposed by President Clinton and passed by Congress last September. State officials said the statewide health corps will comprise 176 full-time volunteers who will assist with immunization programs and work with at-risk women and children through neighborhood centers.