NEW ULM, Minn.-A $1.7 million remodeling project has begun at 85-bed Sioux Valley Hospital. The project, expected to be completed next summer, will consolidate all patient rooms onto the second floor of the four-story hospital. The refurbished facility will have four separate wings for intensive care, medical and surgical departments, obstetrics and behavioral medicine. "We now have five independent nursing units functioning on three different floors, and that will become one inpatient-care unit (on one floor)," said Bruce Mairose, the hospital's project manager. "We'll be reducing the amount of beds...by just two beds."
ST. PAUL, Minn.-The Minnesota Medical Association again will vote whether to authorize a study of a Canadian-style single-payer healthcare system, and backers say chances are growing that physicians will approve doing the study. At the MMA's annual meeting this week in St. Cloud, physician delegates will be asked to consider a resolution calling for the study, with a report due before the 1995 legislative session. At last year's meeting in Duluth, delegates narrowly defeated a resolution asking the association to study the single-payer system. "It looks like there's quite a bit of interest," said Frank Indihar, M.D., of St. Paul Internists and a co-author of the resolution. Physicians traditionally have opposed a single-payer system because they dislike more government involvement. "We're not saying we endorse the concept, just that they study it," said Linda Bohn, M.D., the society's president.-Associated Press
LANSING, Mich.-The state has accepted Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Michigan's $291 million bid for the , a state-owned workers' compensation insurer based in Lansing. Blue Cross will pay an additional $3.9 million as a business tax on the purchase. Other workers' compensation insurers in the state had argued in court that the tax should be as high as $40 million, considering the Blues' special tax advantage as a not-for-profit organization (June 27, p. 66). Legislation authorizing the sale had allowed State Accident employees 60 days to try to match the Blues' June bid. State Accident will be operated as the Michigan Blues' only for-profit subsidiary. The Blues made a commitment to keep the 400 State Accident employees and the business operation in Lansing.