A tentative agreement ending an often-bitter three-month strike at Jersey Shore Medical Center in Neptune, N.J., was reached last week, the hospital said. The pact followed more than 20 hours of talks between hospital executives and representatives of the nurses' union, Local 5058 of the Hospital Professionals and Allied Employees. A union negotiator said the union would have no immediate comment. The hospital said a news blackout on the details of the settlement would continue until union members and the medical center's board conducted ratification votes. All 680 union nurses originally struck the 527-bed hospital Dec. 4, 1993, forcing it to divert some trauma patients, shift nursing supervisors to bedside duties, hire more than 80 replacement nurses and dozens of temporary personnel.-Associated Press
Rapides Regional Medical Center, an Alexandria, La., not-for-profit hospital, will sell up to 50% of the hospital to Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corp. for more than $48 million. Rapides, a 359-bed tertiary-care facility, will be a referral center for Columbia/HCA's other four hospitals in the region. The five hospitals will form the Central Louisiana Healthcare System. The purchase price will ensure that Rapides repays all of its debt, or $48 million. The deal, which will convert Rapides into a tax-paying organization, is expected to be completed in July.
The financially strapped North Detroit General Hospital will reopen for business April 1 with new owners and a new name. A group of Detroit-area physicians formed a new corporation, Quality Health Plan of Southfield, Mich., to buy the 288-bed hospital, surrounding land, and its medical supply inventory for $2 million, according to James McTevia & Associates, the hospital's liquidating agent. The deal is expected to be completed within the next 30 days. The hospital, which has been closed since May 1993, will open as Greater Detroit Hospital-Medical Centers. The hospital filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in July 1991.
Vencor, a Louisville, Ky.-based chain of 30 intensive-care hospitals, has agreed to manage and eventually buy Hahnemann Hospital, a 52-bed facility in Boston. Terms weren't disclosed. Vencor executives said they intend to convert the acute-care hospital to long-term, intensive-care services and use it as a base for expanding respiratory therapy to area nursing homes.
The 255-member Hospital Association of Pennsylvania filed suit last week against the state Department of Public Welfare, contending that the state's mandatory Medicaid managed-care program is poorly designed and doesn't allow enough time for implementation. HAP's suit, filed in Commonwealth Court in Philadelphia, seeks to delay the project and force the state to write regulations for the program's implementation. Last fall, the state received a waiver from federal regulations to require the 650,000 Medicaid recipients who live in the six-county region of southeastern Pennsylvania to participate in the state's "HealthChoices" program. It's expected to cost the state $1.2 billion to put in place.
The Securities and Exchange Commission last week proposed increasing the amount of information that municipal bond issuers must disclose. One rule would prevent any broker and dealer from selling municipal bonds unless the issuer agrees to provide annual financial information and notices of significant events that could affect the issuer's financial position. Another proposal would clarify the types of information that issuers and bond dealers are expected to disclose.
Dun & Bradstreet Healthcare Information and Electronic Data Systems Corp. last week announced an alliance to provide a single source of information on medical treatment protocols and outcomes culled from a variety of public and private data bases. The electronic subscription service, to be available April 1, will integrate proprietary claims data, public-domain data bases and Dun & Bradstreet Corp.'s Health Resources Network, which collects data from physician offices on outcomes and disease management. The integrated sources of information then can be used to compare healthcare institutions with competitors or national norms.