MEMPHIS, Tenn.-The Justice Department has cleared a proposed physician-owned network and managed-care plan of antitrust problems. In the latest of a series of favorable business review letters, the department said the creation of the Mid-South Physician Alliance and the Mid-South Health Plan in Memphis are legitimate joint ventures that won't pose any price-fixing risks. The plan submitted for antitrust review calls for 150 primary-care physicians and 233 medical specialists to form a network and HMO. The network would negotiate provider contracts with the HMO and other payers on behalf of network physicians. The doctors would have 20% of their fees withheld in a risk pool. An independent consultant hired by the network would set a fee schedule, and no physician would have access to fee data from other doctors. Also, physicians would be free to contract with other networks or managed-care plans. Because of such safeguards, the doctors aren't price-fixing competitors, they are partners in a joint venture in which they share financial risk, the Justice Department concluded.
CHARLOTTE, N.C.-The Duke Endowment, a large private foundation, has awarded $4.1 million in grants to hospitals and children's homes in North Carolina and South Carolina to help offset those institutions' uncompensated-care costs. About $2 million went to 118 hospitals in North Carolina, while about $900,000 went to 53 hospitals in South Carolina. The endowment awarded the highest grant to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Hospital Authority in Charlotte, one of the most profitable hospital systems in the state. The parent corporation of 843-bed Carolinas Medical Center and 107-bed University Hospital, both in Charlotte, received $124,420. In 1993, the hospital authority earned $33.2 million on total revenues of $640.4 million.
SOUTH MIAMI, Fla.-D. Wayne Brackin has been named chief executive officer of South Miami HealthSystem, which agreed to merge last month with Baptist Health System of South Florida, Miami. Brackin, who has been with the two-hospital system since 1985, had been chief operating officer at South Miami since 1994.