The California Public Employees Retirement System board has named James E. Burton its new chief executive officer, replacing Dale M. Hanson, who resigned in May. Mr. Burton had been CalPERS' assistant executive officer for investment operations since February 1992. CalPERS, the nation's largest public pension, provides healthcare and retirement benefits to nearly 1 million beneficiaries in 24 health plans. Considered a model health program, CalPERS obtained a 1.1% premium reduction for the 1994 contract year and has held premium increases significantly lower than the national average for the past three years.
TDS Healthcare Systems Corp., a healthcare information systems vendor, has adopted the name of its operating parent company, Systematics Healthcare Services. That unit is a subsidiary of Systematics Information Services, which in turn is a subsidiary of Alltel Corp., a telecommunications company based in Little Rock, Ark. Alltel acquired Atlanta-based TDS a year ago. The name TDS will continue to identify Systematics Healthcare's product line of clinical and patient-care information systems.
Independence Blue Cross in Philadelphia and Pennsylvania Blue Shield in Camp Hill, Pa., said they will invest an additional $5 million in the Caring Foundation for Children, a not-for-profit organization they created four years ago to provide free health insurance for children in a five-county region. The additional funding will enable the foundation, which has a $7 million budget for 1995, to add inpatient hospitalization and mental health benefits; it currently covers primary and preventive care. In addition, the number of children covered will increase to 16,000 by the end of 1995 from 13,000. The Caring Foundation helps children up to age 19 whose families cannot afford health insurance or qualify for Medicaid.
Health policy expert Karen Davis has been named president of the New York-based Commonwealth Fund. Effective Jan. 1, 1995, she succeeds Margaret E. Mahoney, the foundation's president since 1980. Ms. Mahoney, who's worked in the foundation field for 40 years, will lead an initiative on child development. Ms. Davis has been the Commonwealth Fund's executive vice president since July 1992. From 1981 to 1992, she served as a professor of economics and chairwoman of the health policy and management department at Johns Hopkins University's School of Hygiene and Public Health. Before joining Johns Hopkins, Ms. Davis served as HHS deputy assistant secretary. From 1977 to 1980, she developed proposals affecting health insurance, healthcare costs, child health, rural health and primary care.
American HomePatient, a Franklin, Tenn.-based provider of home-care services, has named John Combs its senior vice president, chief financial officer and corporate secretary. Mr. Combs formerly was CFO at Total Pharmaceutical Care, a Torrance, Calif.-based home infusion company that was purchased by Abbey Healthcare Group for $197 million in 1993. Mr. Combs left Abbey in May as part of an executive restructuring, American HomePatient officials said. Mr. Combs couldn't be reached for comment. During 1994, American HomePatient has added 40 home healthcare centers through acquisition and development. The company operates 110 centers throughout the Southeast and Southwest.
Option Care, a Bannockburn, Ill.-based provider of home infusion services, announced that it had developed a new managed-care division called Cordesys Healthcare Management. Cordesys will create and manage networks of local home infusion services, nursing services and medical equipment providers. Cordesys, which stands for "coordinated delivery systems," is one of the first companies to offer managed-care organizations a coordinated network of outpatient and alternate-site providers, executives said. Costs associated with developing the program weren't disclosed. Option Care provides home-care services through 194 branches in 40 states.