JOHNSON CITY, Tenn.-Johnson City Medical Center Hospital and Acordia of West Virginia, a Charleston, W.Va.-based insurance broker, have entered into a joint venture to provide a new insurance product targeted at small businesses in northeast Tennessee. Enrollees in the managed-care plan, called MedSelect, would have access to the hospital, its physician-hospital organization and the 11 other hospitals that make up the Mountain State Healthcare Network, of which Johnson City Medical is a part.
BOWLING GREEN, Ky.-In its latest business review letter regarding healthcare antitrust issues, the U.S. Justice Department has cleared a proposed network of more than 100 physicians in the Bowling Green market of any antitrust problems. The network, called Physician Care, would contract with payers on a capitated or discounted fee basis. Physicians would be subject to a 20% "withhold" on their fees. The government said the network wouldn't raise any antitrust problems because its physicians share sufficient economic risk in the venture, don't exchange individual price data among themselves, and are free to participate in other networks and managed-care plans. Physician Care's physicians would represent about 37% of the market, exceeding the government's 30% "safety zone" for nonexclusive physician networks. The Justice Department said 37% was close enough.
SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va.-Total profits at West Virginia's 59 hospitals dropped 28% last year to $89 million, according to unaudited hospital financial data released last month by the West Virginia Hospital Association. Still, last year's total profit margin of 4.1% represented the third-highest annual margin for West Virginia hospitals since 1987. The banner year was 1992, when West Virginia hospitals earned a collective profit of $123.9 million on total revenues of $1.9 billion for a total profit margin of 6.4%, the WVHA reported. West Virginia hospitals also spent less on charity care last year, the association said. In 1993, the hospitals spent $75.1 million, or 3% of total revenues, on charity care, compared with $78.5 million, or 4% of total revenues, on charity care in 1992.
MIAMI-The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation will invest $1.7 million to improve immunization levels among preschool children in 25 cities in 15 states. The two-year project began Oct. 1 and will end in September 1996. The effort grew in response to national statistics showing an estimated 40% to 60% of 2-year-olds nationwide haven't received required vaccinations. Strategies include sending birthday cards to remind parents about immunization requirements and organizing communitywide efforts to ensure services.