FORT WORTH, Texas-Healthsource North Texas received approval from the state to operate an HMO and offer a variety of managed-care plans. All Saints Health System, whose flagship is 279-bed All Saints Episcopal Hospital of Fort Worth, owns 30% of Healthsource North Texas. The remaining stake is owned by Concord, N.H.-based Healthsource, a publicly traded managed-care company. Healthsource North Texas expects to provide services in six counties and expand statewide within three years, officials said.
TOPEKA, Kan.-Stormont-Vail Regional Medical Center is in discussions with the Cotton-O'Neil Clinic on possible joint ventures or combinations that would streamline healthcare and reduce costs in northeast Kansas. Cotton-O'Neil is the largest physician group in northeast Kansas, with 74 doctors, about half of them in primary care. Howard Chase, chief executive officer of the 360-bed tertiary hospital, said the venture's financial shape hasn't been determined. "It's premature to comment on any of the details," Chase said. Both parties hope to have the deal firmed up this summer. Last year Cotton-O'Neil announced a merger with Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corp., but the deal fell through. Columbia also initiated discussions with Stormont-Vail last year but never made a concrete proposal, Chase said.
ST. LOUIS-Insurance rating service A.M. Best Co. assigned Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Missouri an initial rating of A-. Best said the rating reflects the St. Louis-based Blues' strong position in the state's managed-care market; good history of earnings and surplus growth; and access to capital through its RightChoice Managed Care, a for-profit subsidiary. RightChoice's units, Healthy Alliance Life Insurance Co. and HMO Missouri, also have been rated A-.
ST. LOUIS-Jewish Hospital of St. Louis, a part of BJC Health System, has received a multiyear grant to improve healthcare in Latvia. The grant, from American International Health Alliance and the U.S. Agency for International Development, will help restore Bicur Holim, a traditionally Jewish hospital in the capital city of Riga, as a major medical institution. The Jewish community in St. Louis has a well-established outreach program to Jews living in the former Soviet republic.