DES MOINES, Iowa-Iowa hospitals' expenses increased at their lowest rate in a decade last year, the Iowa Hospital Association said. The IHA said the state's hospitals reported an average 2.8% increase in expenses in 1993 and said the facilities were able to hold down the increases largely because of a reduction in 600 full-time hospital jobs statewide. "Iowa hospital charges historically have been among the lowest in the nation, and this trend reflects continued efforts by hospitals to hold down healthcare costs," said Sister Helen Huewe, IHA's chairwoman and chief executive officer of Mercy Health Center in Dubuque. Nationally, hospital expenses rose 6.9%, the IHA said. Expense increases in Iowa ranged from 4.7% in 1985 to 12.2% in 1988 before last year's dip. The IHA's 1993 statistics are based on responses from 103 of Iowa's 120 hospitals to a year-end survey on financial, personnel and utilization statistics.
DETROIT-Great Lakes Regional Rehabilitation Hospital was sold back to a Detroit osteopathic physician who started the facility 18 years ago. Claude Oster, D.O., sold the hospital to Novacare, based in King of Prussia, Pa., two years ago but decided to take it back when Novacare said the facility didn't fit into its market strategy. Novacare doesn't own any other facilities in the Detroit area, executives said. Terms of the deal weren't disclosed. "We are committed to provide the resources for continued program development, building improvements, equipment and recruiting clinical rehabilitation professionals," said Dr. Oster, principal owner of Southfield Rehabilitation Co. Great Lakes is certified to operate 75 acute rehabilitation beds and 26 skilled-nursing beds.
QUINCY, Ill.-Appointments are backed up to late May for free primary care at a clinic opened earlier this month in Quincy, Ill. Community Outreach Clinic opened for business in the emergency department of the former St. Mary's Hospital, which was acquired by 155-bed Blessing Hospital in Quincy last year (Feb. 22, 1993, p. 16). "They are using space in the former St. Mary's Hospital emergency room, which isn't used any more," said A.J. Jumonville, M.D., a retired physician who's leading the volunteer effort in this Illinois city along the Mississippi River. Dr. Jumonville is aided by 17 volunteer nurses who will rotate into a twice-a-week schedule, working three hours a day. Another dozen physicians will fill in for Dr. Jumonville when he can't work at the clinic. All of the labor is being done at no charge for the patients, who lack Medicare, Medicaid or private insurance coverage. Blessing Hospital also is providing free space, X-ray equipment, lab services and drugs.