LUBBOCK, Texas-Eleven hospitals have joined HealthNet, a rural healthcare education network operated by Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center. Through satellite hookups, HealthNet now provides continuing education courses to 65 rural hospitals in a 108-county region of Texas and New Mexico.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.-Lovelace Health Plan has begun waiving copayments for prenatal and postnatal maternity services to encourage its enrollees to seek care early in their pregnancies. In the past, the enrollees were required to make a $5, $10, or $15 office copayment for their visits. Officials of the hospital-based health plan noted that a recent report by the University of New Mexico School of Medicine reported that New Mexico ranked the worst in the nation in the percentage of women receiving little or no prenatal care.
LUBBOCK, Texas-St. Mary of the Plains Hospital has purchased Norte Vista Medical Center, a freestanding physician clinic in Hobbs, N.M. Terms were not disclosed. Norte Vista has a staff of 50, including eight physicians. The medical center is the sixth primary-care clinic in St. Mary's network, which extends into western Texas and eastern New Mexico.
EL PASO, Texas-Sierra Medical Center has opened its $3 million Gamma Knife Radiosurgery Suite. The equipment is used to treat intracranial tumors and vascular malformations without an incision. The 304-bed hospital is the only facility in a 600-mile radius to have a gamma knife, hospital officials said. Only 18 of the units are operating in the United States.
DENVER-James Willard, president of 312-bed Lutheran Medical Center in Wheat Ridge, Colo., has been named interim chief executive officer of an integrated delivery network being formed in the Denver area. The network comprises Lutheran, Rocky Mountain Adventist Healthcare, which operates four hospitals in the Denver area, 250-bed Rose Medical Center in Denver and 512-bed Saint Joseph Hospital in Denver (May 23, p. 20). Mr. Willard and a recently appointed interim "board of managers" are charged with developing a network for the delivery of outpatient services. The board is composed of Mr. Willard, eight physicians and eight community representatives. It is headed by Carroll Speckman, chairman of Lutheran's board of directors.