Nationwide enrollment in HMOs grew 9.2% to 45.2 million members in 1993, according to the Group Health Association of America. The increase of nearly 4 million members from the end of 1992 is the largest annual increase since 1987, GHAA said. The new numbers are similar to preliminary figures GHAA released late last year (Dec, 13, 1993, p. 8). "An increasing number of consumers are choosing to receive care in HMOs today because they work," said GHAA President Karen Ignagni. "More and more consumers see HMOs as a better way to get healthcare because they emphasize quality, comprehensive benefits, prevention and low out-of-pocket costs."
The Sisters of Providence Health System, Seattle, has joined Premier Health Alliance, Westchester, Ill. The Sisters of Providence system becomes Premier's fifth group affiliate and second Roman Catholic system. Premier is a for-profit cooperative owned by 51 hospitals and systems. Last year, the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word Health Care System, Houston, joined Premier. The Sisters of Charity and the Sisters of Providence had been with the now defunct Cross purchasing group. Earlier this year, Cross and its three Catholic system members merged purchasing programs with the Daughters of Charity National Health System, St. Louis, and the Sisters of Charity Health Care Systems, Cincinnati. With the Sisters of Providence annual purchases of $130 million, Premier's purchasing volume now is about $1.4 billion, the company said. It represents more than 220 hospitals and systems with almost 66,000 beds.
New York's Presbyterian Hospital, a unit of Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center, has joined VHA Metro New York, an affiliate of Irving, Texas-based VHA. By becoming a partner, 1,433-bed Presbyterian will become part of an integrated delivery network being formed to serve the New York metropolitan area (March 7, p. 3). Presbyterian is a shareholder in the national VHA organization but left the local partnership in 1990 when the hospital was experiencing financial difficulties. VHA Metro New York now represents 12 members, some of which operate more than one acute-care hospital.
Caremark International has signed a contract with Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. to provide home infusion services for 7 million of the company's managed-care enrollees. Terms of the agreement weren't released. Northbrook, Ill.-based Caremark also announced that it has invested $5 million in Apache Medical Systems, a Washington-based healthcare outcomes management systems and consulting firm. Apache develops outcomes management systems used by hospitals and physicians to track patient health data.
Washington Hospital Healthcare System in Fremont, Calif., has tapped one of its own, Nancy Daryl Farber, 46, a system administrator, for the top executive job. Ms. Farber succeeds longtime chief executive Richard M. Warren, 64, who is retiring from the post this month. Ms. Farber joined the system in 1984 as chief of the hospital's strategic management department from UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles, where she was an assistant administrator. She is credited with initiating the strategic plan resulting in development of the Washington Clinics, Washington Stanford Radiation Oncology Center and various other outpatient and specialty services composing Washington Healthcare. It also operates 306-bed Washington Hospital.
UniHealth America Ventures, a subsidiary of Burbank, Calif.-based UniHealth America, has named Robert Nelson, executive vice president and chief executive officer of Harriman Jones Medical Group in Long Beach, Calif., to the post of senior vice president for medical group development, effective July 1. In his new job, Mr. Nelson, 60, will oversee UniHealth Ventures' development of a statewide physician network through the expansion of physician partnerships and medical group relationships. Mr. Nelson, who has served as top executive of the 75-physician Harriman Jones since 1987, has worked in medical group management for 23 years.