STERLING, Ill.-PHP Healthcare has been selected by Northwestern Steel & Wire Co. here to develop and operate a family health center for the company's employees and retirees, and their dependents. Terms of the five-year contract weren't disclosed. More than 10,000 people would be eligible to use the clinic, which will serve Sterling and neighboring Rock Falls, located 120 miles west of Chicago, executives said. "We believe this employer-sponsored healthcare system will be a model for small and medium-sized companies, particularly in rural and suburban communities that are under-served by managed-care plans," said Charles Robbins, president and chairman of PHP Healthcare. The center will include two full-time physicians and provide in-house laboratory and radiology services, mammography, and preventive health programs. It will be housed in a 16,000-square-foot building designed and constructed by PHP Healthcare. The family healthcare center plan was developed by Northwestern and its employee unions, the United Steelworkers of America Locals 63 and 3720.
CHICAGO-Alexian Brothers Medical Center has opened a "patient-centered" unit, which the 381-bed hospital said will cross-train personnel and better organize resources around the patient. The hospital's "interactive care unit," was designed to improve quality while reducing costs, executives said. Services will be brought directly to the patient's bedside. "As a patient-centered unit, our goal is to meet the patients' needs as they see them, not as healthcare professionals see them," said unit director Sharon Melbye. The hospital hopes to save some $40,000 a year through cross-training of its employees. Executives said it's too early to tell how much money the new effort will save patients.
MINNEAPOLIS-A new general director has been named for the University of Minnesota Hospital and Clinic, located in this managed-care-intense city. Peter Rapp, 44, chief operating officer of 852-bed Medical College of Virginia Hospitals in Richmond, is scheduled to begin his new position Aug. 15 after 10 years at his present position. "Academic medical centers around the country are looking to the University of Minnesota for answers to the questions concerning the role of university hospitals in a reformed healthcare system," Mr. Rapp said. The 553-bed University of Minnesota Hospital and Clinic is part of the University of Minnesota Health System, which also includes the University of Minnesota Clinical Associates, the physician faculty's group practice. The system has made several efforts to cut costs in the last two years to become more attractive to payers. The hospital cut more than $35 million from its annual $300 million cost of running the hospital and clinic, executives said (Feb. 7, p. 37).