Voluntary Hospitals of America-Gulf States and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana, the state's largest insurer, said last week they may form a statewide health maintenance organization.
The consulting firm of Ernst & Young has been hired to study the effort. Such an HMO would be marketed initially in New Orleans, Baton Rouge and Shreveport, said Dale Bankston, president of VHA Gulf States.
VHA Gulf States represents 3,720 beds and nearly 20% of all inpatient admissions in the state, executives said. It's part of Irving, Texas-based Voluntary Hospitals of America, the nation's largest alliance of not-for-profit hospitals.
The move mirrors managed-care efforts by VHA regional groups in Georgia and New York (Feb. 14, p. 40; March 7, p. 3).