September restructuring at HealthSystem Minnesota wiped out the positions of nine top executives, including the former president of 426-bed Methodist Hospital in St. Louis Park, Minn. One of those ousted, Terry Finzen, 52, a 23-year Methodist veteran, had been named chief operating officer when Methodist merged with Park Nicollet Clinic in 1993 to form the system. He couldn't be reached for comment, and a system spokeswoman didn't know his plans. Mark Fisher, chief administrative officer of the clinic, also lost his job in the restructuring. He will continue to work in healthcare, spokeswoman Carol Hobart said. The management redesign is meant to simplify decisionmaking, not save money, Hobart said. Seven executives, including one who oversees clinical operations and another in charge of administrative support services, now report directly to James Reinertsen, M.D., the system's chief executive officer.
The Rocky Mountain Heart Consortium, an ambitious project meant to eliminate a glut of open-heart programs in Colorado, might be nearing its end. Its 16-member board met last week to consider its future, and a decision is expected to be made public in October, said Ann Fenton, executive director of the coalition. Fenton declined to elaborate. The consortium was touted as a potential model for how hospitals, insurers and businesses could work together to limit the duplication of expensive, high-technology services. In 1991, 22 hospitals, including government facilities, provided advanced cardiac services. Since then, two programs have closed, but insurers still say an excess of programs might be triggering some unnecessary procedures and resulting in poorer outcomes (June 5, p. 32). A recent consortium report, in fact, did show significant variations in the use and results of cardiac bypass procedures. Reportedly, the consortium has run into trouble raising money for its 1995-1997 business plan, which would include organizing clinical trials and developing a uniform cardiovascular database.
William Cox has been named to the newly created position of executive vice president of the Catholic Health Association. Cox, 48, has been in the CHA's Washington office for the last 15 years, including the last dozen as vice president of government services. In his new position, he will remain in Washington and be responsible for the CHA's planning and budgeting.
The newly formed Minnesota Hospital and Healthcare Partnership will trim dues $1.2 million, or 25%, in 1996. The association was formed from the August merger of the Minnesota Hospital Association and the Metropolitan Healthcare Council in St. Paul (July 3, p. 12). Its 144 members elected former MHA President Stephen Rogness as president. Through the remainder of this year, former council President Alan Johnson will help redesign information and quality improvement services, one priority of the new group. Most staffing decisions won't be made until compensation systems are merged later this year, Rogness said.
New York's Mount Sinai Health System has expanded its regional network to 25 hospitals through two new affiliations. Liberty HealthCare System, Jersey City, N.J., entered into a clinical affiliation with Mount Sinai Hospital, the patient-care arm of Mount Sinai Medical Center. Liberty includes Jersey City (N.J.) Medical Center; Greenville Hospital, Jersey City; and Meadowlands Hospital Medical Center, Secaucus, N.J. Also linking with Mount Sinai Health System is St. Elizabeth Hospital in Elizabeth, N.J., a 90-year-old Catholic teaching hospital sponsored by the Sisters of Charity of St. Elizabeth.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida lost its appeal of an $86 million contract the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration awarded to Unisys Corp. to administer the state employees health plan (July 24, p. 38). The pact calls for Unisys to perform claims processing for 240,000 state employees and dependents. Last week, an administrative hearing officer ruled that the AHCA followed proper procedures in awarding the health plan contract to Unisys. Blue Cross, which had held the contract, filed an administrative complaint, charging that the agency failed to follow the bid process.