SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico-San Jorge Children's Hospital here has agreed to pay a $20,000 civil monetary penalty to HHS to settle charges that it violated the 1986 federal "patient dumping" law. The law bars hospitals from transferring medically unstable patients or patients in labor to other hospitals for economic reasons. HHS accused the 50-bed facility of violating the law in 1991 by refusing emergency department treatment to a person injured in an automobile accident. Under a Jan. 14 settlement with HHS' inspector general's office, the hospital admitted to no violation of federal law.
FLORENCE, S.C.-Florence General Hospital and Bruce Hospital System here have merged to form the Carolinas Hospital System, which now controls two of the three hospitals in Florence and two of the four hospitals in Florence County. Florence, a town of about 30,000, is located 80 miles east of Columbia, S.C. The county's population is 114,000. With a combined total of 321 staffed beds, Florence General and Bruce Hospital control 48% of the staffed beds in Florence and 44% of the staffed beds in the county. The hospitals announced their merger plans in late October, and the Justice Department cleared the deal of any antitrust problems in mid-December.
TUPELO, Miss.-North Mississippi Health Services and the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson have agreed to establish the state's first rural family residency program at 685-bed North Mississippi Medical Center. If North Mississippi's application is approved by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, the residency program in Tupelo could begin in July 1995, a hospital spokesman said. As many as 12 family practice residents could receive their last two years of training at North Mississippi. John D. Hicks, North Mississippi's president and chief executive officer, said the agreement will increase the number of physicians serving rural areas. North Mississippi operates a network of 17 clinics in rural areas around Tupelo.