It's the haves vs. the have-nots in a battle for cardiac surgery and catheterization approvals in New York State.
Getting the state's blessing to start a new program is tough to do, even when the hospital can prove a need, says the Healthcare Association of New York State.
Community need is considered, a state health department spokeswoman said. But to keep quality top-notch, the state won't add new heart-surgery services in a region unless existing programs have reached capacity, she said.
Late last week, the 30-member State Hospital Review and Planning Council was expected to rule on 33 cardiac surgery and catheterization service applications. The panel's project review committee recommended the council approve just one of the eight certificate-of-need applications submitted for cardiac surgery and seven of the 25 applications for cardiac cath programs.
Of the eight projects OK'd, all but one are expansions of existing programs. It favored one new program-a cardiac cath laboratory proposed by 442-bed Glens Falls (N.Y.) Hospital-saying the nearest hospital with a cath lab, 431-bed Ellis Hospital in Schenectady, is too far away to help the rural residents of Glens Falls.
The state won't consider new programs if existing services are available within a 100-mile radius or two-hours traveling time. Hospitals are required to perform at least 500 cardiac surgeries annually within three years of initiating a cardiac program. Cath labs must perform 120 procedures annually.
Back by popular demand. Look out Clinton administration, those crazies at Notch/Bradley are at it again.
The Chattanooga, Tenn.-based healthcare marketing firm that brought us the spoofy poster "Health Care Reform School," featuring a leather-clad, whip-cracking likeness of Hillary Rodham Clinton (Sept. 6, 1993, p. 48), has created a new wacky poster mocking-what else-healthcare reform. And this time both Clintons are among the mocked.
Notch/Bradley officials refer to the new poster as a "supermarket tabloid parody of healthcare reform issues." The firm initially plans to print 1,000 copies of the sequel poster to circulate among healthcare executives and the media. But if it's received like the first poster (more than 12,000 were distributed free of charge), Notch/Bradley undoubtedly will end up printing more.
Did the White House ever respond to the first poster?
"We never got a reaction," said Brendan Jennings, the firm's chief operating officer. "But we think Mrs. Clinton saw it-one way or another."
For a copy of the poster ($5 each), call 615-756-8647.
Claiming seniority.The American Association of Retired Persons is the Big Foot of healthcare lobbying, but that doesn't mean there isn't competition to speak for the seniors.
One new group is the Seniors Coalition, a Fairfax, Va., outfit that has zeroed in on the Clinton health plan. The group claims to have 2 million "members and supporters," compared with the AARP's membership of some 33 million.
Another player is the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, which helped derail the Catastrophic Care Act in 1989. The National Committee, which says it has 6 million members, is headed by former Social Security boss Martha McSteen. The group says it's all for Congress passing healthcare reform legislation, as long as the package includes long-term-care and prescription drug benefits. Both the Seniors Coalition and National Committee are soliciting support by promising to challenge unfair reductions in Medicare to fund healthcare reform.
But AARP lobbyist John Rother questions the commitment of the Seniors Coalition. "They have the right to express their views, but they obviously are in the business solely for fund-raising."
A source for out-sourcing.Ira Korman, formerly a high-profile Humana hospital administrator, has formed a new consulting company, Integra Health Services in Dallas.
One of the firm's specialties is "out-sourcing" management for healthcare delivery networks, a growing niche in the healthcare management field. The company currently is working with nine networks in either the development or management phase.
For example, one of the company's talents is helping physicians evaluate managed-care contract rates through a proprietary physician cost-management program.
Until 1991, Mr. Korman was chief executive officer of Humana's most profitable hospital, Medical City-Dallas, which has since come under the Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corp. banner. After leaving Medical City, he ran Zale Lipshy University Hospital, also in Dallas. He left in 1992, citing philosophical differences with the board. Since then, he's been consulting on his own.
One of Integra's principals, Richard Hammond, also is a principal in Lines Hammond and Associates, a Dallas-based management consulting firm that doesn't specialize in healthcare. That's OK, Mr. Korman said, adding, "So many of the breakthroughs in medical management are coming from non-medical people."
Play ball! In the spirit of the brand new major-league baseball season, Southern Indiana Rehab Hospital executives invited baseball Hall-of-Famer Gaylord Perry to make a pitch on the facility's opening day.
Mr. Perry is slated to be the guest speaker this week at the New Albany, Ind., hospital's grand opening. Mr. Perry, who won 314 games while pitching for eight major-league teams, was inducted into the baseball Hall of Fame in 1991.
In the Outliers-won't-take-credit-for-this-verbiage category, a press release said the 60-bed hospital will "celebrate the `major-league' rehabilitation this hospital will provide southern Indiana." But Outliers would like to note this isn't Mr. Perry's first foray into healthcare. He was well known for his medical practice while in the big leagues, "doctoring" baseballs with spit and other substances.