NEW ORLEANS-Touro Infirmary's managed-care company, Healthcare Advantage, has begun operating its own HMO, Advantage Health Plan. Seven hospitals and more than 500 physicians have agreed to be participating providers in the hospital-based HMO in the New Orleans and Baton Rouge areas.
DENVER-A collaboration between 105-bed National Jewish Center for Immunology and Respiratory Medicine, 238-bed Children's Hospital and 258-bed University Hospital appears to be workable after four months of review, the hospitals said. They intend to begin discussions in earnest and will carry out their plans in eight months if a final agreement is reached. National Jewish Center expects to close its inpatient unit and refer its pediatric patients to Children's and adults to University (April 18, p. 16). Meanwhile, Children's and University would move outpatient clinics for patients with respiratory diseases or allergies to National Jewish Center.
LITTLE ROCK, Ark.-Sherwood-based Cleantech of is seeking $1 million from hospitals and other investors for a new company, Enviro-Med, that will use "pyrodigestion" to destroy medical waste. Its Little Rock plant will serve hospitals and other healthcare facilities in a 15-county area, said Doug Wood, Cleantech's president. Cleantech is the first U.S. company to win state approval to destroy medical waste with pyrodigestion, a technology developed for organic hazardous waste. The procedure uses an oxygen-free chamber in which molten aluminum breaks down waste into recyclable carbon, glass and metals. New federal regulations for medical-waste incineration (Aug. 29, p. 14) should raise demand for alternate treatments, Mr. Wood said. The Enviro-Med plant will charge about 25 cents a pound, comparable to the current best market rate for incineration, he said. It should be operational within eight months.
COLLEGE STATION, Texas-Scott and White Memorial Hospital in Temple, Texas, has opened an $11.5 million expansion of its 8-year-old clinic in College Station. The 118,000-square-foot expansion has 92 examining rooms, 10 treatment rooms and eight imaging rooms. Staffed by 60 physicians and 300 nurses, the clinic will care for about 1,000 patients a day, officials said. Nearly 26,000 residents in the six-county area are members of the Scott and White Health Plan.