Acute-care hospital prices rose 0.4% last month, compared with a 0.6% increase in August, according to the Labor Department's producer price index for hospitals. The hospital PPI measures changes in net prices for single episodes of hospital care. The hospital PPI for the 12-month period ended in September was 3.4%. Prices for physician services, meanwhile, dropped 0.1% last month, the Labor Department reported, compared with a 0.1% increase in August.
Prescription drug manufacturers have reduced their discounts to HMOs and group purchasing organizations since the passage in 1990 of a federal law requiring companies to give state Medicaid programs price breaks, a federal report said. The General Accounting Office said the median "best price" discount offered to HMOs dropped to 14.2% in the first quarter of 1993 from 24.4% in the first quarter of 1991. For GPOs, the median discount dropped to 15.3% from 27.8% over the same period. Manufacturers increased their median best prices more than either the median average prices or the producer price index for prescription drugs, accounting for the smaller discounts. The GAO did not draw any conclusions about the relationship between the law and the price changes.
Los Angeles-based Triad Healthcare has filed its reorganization plan with U.S. Bankruptcy Court. The hospital company, which filed under Chapter 11 in February, plans to emerge from bankruptcy by the first quarter of 1995. In the plan, Triad, which owns Sherman Oaks (Calif.) Hospital and Health Center, wants to sell or lease West Valley Hospital and Health Center, a 139-bed acute-care facility in Canoga Park, Calif.
Hillhaven Corp. has signed a definitive agreement to acquire CPS Pharmaceutical Services and Advanced Infusion Systems, both based in Mountain View, Calif., for approximately $29 million in Hillhaven stock. The deal is expected to be completed by Oct. 31. CPS and AIS provide pharmaceutical and infusion services in Northern California. Combined, they generate $25 million in annual revenues, Hillhaven said. The companies will become part of Hillhaven's subsidiary, Medisave Pharmacies, the nation's third-largest provider of pharmacy services for long-term-and subacute-care facilities. Also, Tacoma, Wash.-based Hillhaven and Cleveland, Tenn.-based Life Care Centers of America have announced the formation of a new company to provide pharmacy services to patients of the firms' facilities.
Hospital admission rates grow to fill available beds, a new study by researchers at the Dartmouth School of Medicine in Hanover, N.H., said. Comparing Boston and New Haven, Conn., which have similar demographics, researchers said their findings suggest that cost-containment efforts should focus on controlling the supply of resources. Medicare beneficiaries hospitalized in Boston for heart attack, stroke, hip fracture, cancer surgery and gastrointestinal bleeding had a 64% higher readmission rate over the subsequent three years than Medicare beneficiaries hospitalized in New Haven for those conditions. In Boston, there are 4.5 beds for every 1,000 residents, while there are about 2.9 beds per 1,000 people in New Haven. The study's results were published in the Oct. 13 New England Journal of Medicine.
Frankie Perry, the American College of Healthcare Executives' executive vice president of three years, is retiring at year-end. Ms. Perry, 59, a familiar face and voice within top hospital management circles, coordinated all the ACHE's membership and educational services. Ms. Perry has been with the ACHE since 1986.
Downers Grove, Ill.-based ServiceMaster Co. last week named Al Holbrook president of its new senior living services division, which will oversee the company's management of service departments in long-term-care facilities. It also will provide planning and development services for new facilities. Mr. Holbrook was national industry leader for Coopers & Lybrand's eldercare group. The senior living division will operate under ServiceMaster Diversified Health Services, which manages 10 assisted-living and retirement housing programs.