CASPER, Wyo.-Members of the proposed Wyoming Integrated Network were scheduled to meet late this week to discuss the results of the first phase of a feasibility study of the network. The study has been conducted by Janus Healthcare Consultants, Castle Rock, Colo. Twenty of the state's 25 hospitals are discussing the possible formation of a network that would link all member hospitals to regional institutional services, common financial incentives and telecommunication services among physicians and facilities. One goal of the network would be to encourage physicians and businesses to provide and seek healthcare services within the state. Problems with antitrust laws and locations of facilities still need to be worked out, according to Dan Perdue, vice president of governmental affairs of the Wyoming Hospital Association.
BOISE, Idaho-More than two dozen people picketed the Blue Cross of Idaho offices earlier this month to protest the company's profits and its refusal to reveal the salaries of top executives. Demonstrators also said they wanted to call attention to the need for healthcare reform. Blue Cross, Idaho's largest health insurer, recently told the state Insurance Department that its 1993 profits totaled $13.7 million. That compares with $2.6 million in 1992. "We'd like to know where the money goes," said Max King. If exorbitant salaries and profits from insurers across the country were plowed into healthcare, it would make a big difference in providing better insurance for those covered and bringing in those not covered, Mr. King said. Blue Cross spokeswoman Julie Taylor said the company will not disclose salaries of any employees. But she said it provides the best coverage and lowest prices in Idaho, citing the company's 10,000 new subscribers in the past year as proof. Blue Cross of Idaho pays its executives 40% less than other Blue Cross companies in the nation and 20% less than other insurers of comparable size, Ms. Taylor said. She said the company was targeted by picketers because it is Idaho's largest insurer. Jack Jones, co-chairman of the Idaho Coalition for National Health Care Reform, said if Blue Cross maintains a not-for-profit status it should be required to divulge salaries of its top executives.-Associated Press