A bill to establish a government-appointed healthcare council that would explore integrating Hawaii's healthcare system (May 1, p. 18) died in a state legislative conference committee last week. Democrat Lennard, a Honolulu-area representative, said he is scheduling a meeting this week with the bill's supporters to see "whether they have the heart to go on with this" and reintroduce the bill in the Legislature's next session. Meanwhile, a business and industry coalition called Vision 2000 is considering establishing an entirely private council, said Clint Churchill, the group's chairman.
The Medical Society of Virginia has announced it will launch funding efforts to establish a physician-controlled HMO in Virginia, in a joint venture with PHP. The Greensboro, N.C.-based HMO will match the investment of Virginia physicians to raise an estimated $6 million to $8 million in start-up costs, according to a medical society spokeswoman. The society mailed letters to 14,000 Virginia physicians last week notifying them that they must indicate interest in the venture by requesting a prospectus by June 14. The minimum investment in PHP Virginia will be two shares at $1,500 each. The medical society expects that Virginia physicians will control all aspects of the new HMO, including utilization review, reimbursement and access. PHP allows customers to choose among participating physicians without a referral from a primary-care gatekeeper. The HMO will cover 46 counties in central Virginia.
Homedco Group's net income for the second quarter ended March 31 rose 29.3% to $9 million, or 66 cents per share, from $7 million, or 52 cents per share, in the year-ago period. Revenues increased 25.9% to $161 million. For the six months, Homedco's net income increased 25.2% to $17.7 million, or $1.30 per share, from $14.1 million, or $1.06 per share, in the year-ago period. Revenues rose 22.3% to $307.5 million. The Fountain Valley, Calif.-based company in March announced plans to merge with Abbey Healthcare Group in a $1.1 billion stock deal. The Abbey-Homedco combination will create the nation's largest home healthcare company and provider of home respiratory therapy (See related story, p. 32).
Norwalk, Conn.-based Oxford Health Plans' net income for the first quarter ended March 31 increased 87% to $10.1 million, or 29 cents per share, from $5.4 million, or 16 cents per share, in the year-ago quarter. The company's revenues rose 148% to $314.7 million. Oxford said the earnings gain was due primarily to increased managed-care enrollment. Oxford's enrollment grew 125% to 635,200 in the first quarter. The point-of-service plan and government programs experienced "tremendous growth" in the quarter, the company said.
Tom J. Elkin will step down from his post as assistant executive officer for health benefit services at the California Public Employees Retirement System July 1. He plans to launch a consulting firm, which will focus on healthcare purchasing. During Elkin's tenure, CalPERS gained national recognition as one of the most successful group healthcare purchasers. Elkin, 53, negotiated premium reductions with health plans over the last three years that resulted in savings of more than $90 million for 1,000 state and local public agencies.
Portland, Ore.-based Brim has appointed Frank Boggio, 36, vice president of development. Boggio comes to Brim from Spectrum Healthcare Services in Colorado Springs, Colo., where he was a regional vice president of sales. Brim manages 61 hospitals in 23 states.
Nancy Carlstedt, 57, is stepping down from her post as president and chief executive officer at 652-bed Michael Reese Hospital and Medical Center in Chicago to head 263-bed Bloomington (Ind.) Hospital. Carlstedt, who joined Michael Reese one year ago, will leave June 1. She said she accepted the position in Indiana to be closer to her family. Michael Reese, owned by Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corp., has begun a national search for her successor.