HOUSTON-The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center has opened the Second Opinion Clinic, de- signed for patients who want another opinion on an initial cancer diagnosis or treatment plan. Patients generally are referred by their primary-care physicians or managed-care plan. The second opinion is given after a team of specialists conduct a physical examination, look at the patient's medical history, and review the pathology and radiographic data, hospital officials said.
HOUSTON-Hermann Hospital has received an A rating from Moody's Investors Service and Fitch Investors Service for its upcoming sale of $181 million in bonds. Of the total, $150 million will finance a new building program that includes a 12-story patient tower. The hospital's previous debt rating had been Baa1 by Moody's. In 1993, the Joint Com
mission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations had threatened to revoke the hospital's accreditation for building code deficiencies in its current facility. Last month, the hospital was informed that the JCAHO has accredited Hermann for three years.
MONROE, La.-The North Louisiana Healthcare Alliance has contracted with Iameter, San Mateo, Calif., to initiate a clinical outcomes study to help purchasers and providers lower healthcare costs in the region. The alliance includes about 100 businesses, four urban and 17 rural hospitals, 270 physicians and several insurance companies. Iameter initially will use Medicare data to assess provider outcomes of quality and cost efficiency, officials said.
BATON ROUGE, La.-Baton Rouge General Medical Center reduced its workers' compensation costs by 36% in 1993 despite a 33% increase in accidents. The hospital credits the drop to a new occupational health program implemented in July 1993. Under the new program, the hospital improved its incident reporting and case management review of injured workers, developed a panel of preferred providers with a discounted fee structure, and began doing post-accident drug and alcohol screenings. The hospital's workers' compensation costs-which totaled $331,359 last year-had been increasing about 10% annually since 1990.