HARTFORD, Conn.-The boards of directors of Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center in Hartford and Greater Bristol (Conn.) Health Services Corp., the parent of 168-bed Bristol Hospital, have agreed to form a new corporation to oversee affiliation activities. The providers announced their intent to affiliate earlier this year (May 1, p. 32). Under the agreement, each will control 50% of the new tax-exempt corporation, and each hospital will retain its autonomy. The new entity will pursue opportunities to collaborate in such areas as managed care, rehabilitation, primary-care development, long-term care and wellness.
WILKES-BARRE, Pa.-HealthAmerica of Central Pennsylvania, a Harrisburg-based managed-care company, will extend coverage to residents of Luzerne and Columbia counties under an agreement with Wyoming Valley Physician Hospital Organization. The PHO will serve as HealthAmerica's provider network in the region. HealthAmerica, owned by Nashville, Tenn.-based Coventry Corp., currently serves more than 446,000 enrollees statewide. The PHO is governed by Wyoming Valley Health Care System in Wilkes-Barre and 365 area physicians.
TRUMBULL, Conn.-Physicians Health Services of Connecticut has entered a three-year contract with Hartford (Conn.) Physician Hospital Organization, adding more than 600 physicians to the HMO's network. The agreement allows PHS enrollees to receive healthcare services through Connecticut Health Systems' network, which includes Hartford Hospital, Connecticut Children's Medical Center and the Institute of Living in Hartford. PHS also said it reaffirmed its commitment to the Saint Francis/Mount Sinai Health Care System's PHO in Hartford. The two contracts enable PHS enrollees to receive services from the Hartford area's two major healthcare systems.
PHILADELPHIA-Prudential, the nation's largest health insurer, has introduced a managed-care plan for Philadelphia-area residents covered under Pennsylvania's Medicaid program, known as Medical Assistance. Prudential Community Care is the sixth such managed-care plan to be offered to 275,000 Medical Assistance recipients in Philadelphia, Bucks and Montgomery counties. Prudential plans to establish a network of primary-care and health information centers. The first center will be opened through a strategic alliance with Nelson Medical Group, a Philadelphia-based multispecialty physicians network that currently operates eight medical centers in urban Philadelphia neighborhoods.
BOSTON-Brigham and Women's Hospital will spend more than $8 million to upgrade its ventilation system after years of complaints from workers about environmental contamination. Hospital executives said recently that three of the 17 floors of the building where patients are housed have been cleaned, and the rest would be upgraded during the next year. They said the problems had been traced to dust from open medication and latex gloves that have been more widely used in recent years. "We know that there's a latex allergen that's present in the dust that's there," said Jack McCarthy, the hospital's director of environmental affairs. "Also, some of the medication preparation that's done, we can enhance ventilation to take care of some concerns." Brigham and Women's officials said each floor would be emptied of patients one at a time and cleaned at a cost of about $500,000 each.-Associated Press