The University of Louisville (Ky.) Hospital and Alliant Health System agreed to form a joint venture for adult cancer treatment services in Louisville's downtown medical center. The 50-50 venture will operate as the James Graham Brown Cancer Center. It will combine inpatient and outpatient oncology services now provided by Alliant and the university hospital, which is operated by Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corp., a Louisville-based chain of about 200 investor-owned hospitals. Alliant is a not-for-profit system that owns three hospitals in the Louisville area and manages another 24 in three other states.
Health Systems International, a West Coast managed-care company, said it has purchased 51% of Integrated Health Networks, a Philadelphia-based managed-care firm, for $1.2 million. Earlier this year, HSI announced its intent to acquire a majority interest in Integrated Health Networks from Main Line Medical Enterprises, a joint venture of Main Line Health System and Main Line Physicians Association, both of Radnor, Pa. (May 16, p. 8). HSI, whose two principal affiliates are Pueblo, Colo.-based QualMed and Woodland Hills, Calif.-based Health Net, plans to do business in Philadelphia as QualMed Plans for Health of Philadelphia. Main Line Health System will retain an interest in the HMO, and may be joined by other investors, such as Media, Pa.-based Crozer-Keystone Health System.
Despite the loss of its California/Hawaii contract with the Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Uniformed Services, which expired in January, Foundation Health Corp., Rancho Cordova, Calif., reported a 4% increase in net income to $19.9 million, or 68 cents per share, for the first quarter ended Sept. 30. That's compared with net income of $19.2 million, or 66 cents per share, in the year-ago period. Revenues fell 16% to $405.9 million. The increase reflects growth in Foundation's HMOs and specialty services as well as one more month of revenues than in the year-ago quarter from its new workers' compensation subsidiary.
SSM Health Care System signed a letter of intent to acquire 441-bed DePaul Health Center in St. Louis from Daughters of Charity National Health System. Terms of the acquisition weren't disclosed. SSM's six St. Louis-area facilities and DePaul have formed the St. Louis Health Care Network to pursue managed-care contracts and coordinate the delivery of services. The companies anticipate filing pre-merger notification documents with federal authorities in a few weeks. The deal is expected to be completed in four months. If it goes through, SSM would control 21% of St. Louis-area discharges, executives said.
New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani's $1.1 billion deficit-reduction plan would deliver another $107 million blow to the New York City Health and Hospitals Corp.'s $3.5 billion budget. In September, the corporation said it would lay off some 3,000 workers as a result of a $357 million gap in its budget. And last month, the city notified HHC of another $95 million reduction, which HHC hopes to offset through an accounting adjustment that involves moving to a biweekly payroll system. HHC operates 11 acute-care and five long-term-care hospitals plus numerous clinics throughout the city.
A design flaw caused centrifugal heart-lung bypass machines to malfunction at least 93 times from Nov. 1, 1991, to Oct. 12, 1993. Information released by the Food and Drug Administration wasn't sufficient to determine whether patients were injured, researchers said, but a number of the malfunctions could have threatened patient safety. The study will be published in an upcoming Annals of Thoracic Surgery. In an accompanying survey of thoracic surgeons, 47 of 238 respondents reported a total of 89 malfunctions, at least two of which contributed to patient deaths. Although the machines generally are safe, manufacturers should add warning labels or safety devices, researchers said.