President Clinton called on Congress to pass a seven-year balanced-budget plan and a healthcare reform plan that resembles the one introduced by Sens. Nancy Kassebaum (R-Kan.) and Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.). He made the remarks in a speech delivered in Washington late last week. Congress must pass a measure to increase the federal debt limit by March 15. GOP leaders are considering attaching several packages to the debt extension bill, including a "downpayment" of spending cuts or a series of Medicare and Medicaid reforms.
The board of the recently combined Group Health Association of America and the American Managed Care Review Association was expected to approve a new name for the organization: the American Association of Health Plans. The new name, along with a series of "tenets of healthcare delivery," are slated to be announced at the group's policy conference this week in Washington. In an effort to counter negative press coverage of HMO profits, the groups have been working to redefine managed care as a "healthcare philosophy" rather than as a business arrangement.
Boston's Beth Israel Hospital and Pathway Health Network last week said they have agreed to consider merging the two healthcare organizations and establishing a new regional network. Pathway, the network being formed in eastern Massachusetts by New England Deaconess Hospital, also includes New England Baptist Hospital in Boston, Deaconess-Glover Hospital in Needham, Deaconess-Nashoba Hospital in Ayer and Deaconess-Waltham (Mass.) Hospital. Beth Israel and Deaconess are affiliated with Harvard Medical School and are on neighboring sites in the Longwood medical area of Boston.
Robert Woltil, who left his post as head of Beverly Enterprises' pharmacy unit Jan. 17, will join rival long-term-care company Sun Healthcare Group. Woltil, 41, will become Albuquerque, N.M.-based Sun's chief financial officer and senior vice president for financial services effective Feb. 26. During his 14-year tenure at Beverly, he was instrumental in efforts to financially restructure the company and bring it back from the brink of bankruptcy in the late 1980s. He served as Beverly's CFO from 1992 to 1995. Seperately, Sun announced it will record a pretax charge of about $105 million in its fourth-quarter earnings.
Nashville, Tenn.-based Community Health Systems last week reported a 174% increase in net income to $21.6 million, or $1.08 per share, for the year ended Dec. 31, 1995. That compares with net income of $7.9 million, or 50 cents per share, for the previous year. Revenues were up 20.4% to $562.8 million. Community owns 41 hospitals in 17 states.