SALINA, Kan.-The only two acute-care hospitals in Saline County, 192-bed Asbury-Salina Regional Medical Center and 99-bed St. John's Regional Health Center, are negotiating a merger or some other form of consolidation. A final agreement is expected by spring, said Clay Edmunds, president of Asbury-Salina. The hospitals have combined revenues of about $75 million. Salina is a town of 42,000 located in Saline County about 150 miles southwest of Kansas City. A 26-bed psychiatric hospital also operates in Saline County. Ten acute-care hospitals operate in the six counties surrounding it. "We're very excited about (consolidation)," Mr. Edmunds said. "We don't have any real blocks at this stage. We're basically working through what will be required before we're done with (federal regulators)."
BATON ROUGE, La.-The Louisiana Health Care Authority would be dismantled and the state Department of Health and Hospitals would regain oversight of charity hospitals under a bill to be considered in the next regular session of the Legislature, starting March 27, 1995. Key floor leaders for Gov. Edwin Edwards filed the bill, which would abolish the authority, created in 1989 under former Gov. Buddy Roemer. The sponsors include state Reps. Sherman and Elias "Bo" Ackal. The authority took over the charity hospital system in 1992. The bill is among 76 filed in advance of the session. Mr. Copelin said he is serious about the issue. "I want to get as many co-sponsors as of the bill as I can," he said. "The healthcare authority is saying we have to spend money at a time when we could be losing up to $750 million in federal Medicaid funds. They are building another bureaucracy at a time when government should be downsizing the bureaucracy." The authority board's chairman, Arnold Lupin, M.D., of New Orleans, said the agency has provided more than $1.26 billion in hospital fees to the state since 1991 and that figure should grow to almost $1.6 billion by the end of June 1995. "For anyone to contend that the LHCA has been fiscally irresponsible in the face of the monetary contribution our hospitals have made to the state budget is a gross misrepresentation of the facts," he said. "This is not the time for Louisiana to retrench in its public health efforts."-Associated Press
ST. LOUIS-Walter Hanses, 56, an executive at the Hospital Association of Metropolitan St. Louis, died Dec. 1 after surgery for a brain aneurysm at Missouri Baptist Medical Center. Mr. Hanses had been vice president of association services since 1988. He worked previously for American Medical International.