MONTPELIER, Vt.-The Vermont Hospital Association said late last month that its 17 member hospitals are forecasting the reduction of about 500 full- and part-time positions by year-end, aimed at cutting payroll expenses by about $17 million annually. The reductions would cut the total statewide hospital work force of 7,600 by about 6.5%. Association President Norman Wright said managed-care growth in Vermont will aggressively limit the use of inpatient services, and the consolidation of healthcare capacity and duplicative services is necessary to preserve necessary services in local communities. Wright said the association and the state Department of Employment and Training will be working together to help hospital employees get retraining and job-placement assistance.
NEW YORK-Brookdale University Hospital and Medical Center opened a $2.5 million facility in Brooklyn early this month. The 16,000-square-foot facility will be staffed by physicians and nurses from Brookdale. The Satellite Medical Center, part of the hospital's network of Brookdale Family Care Centers, will offer primary care in pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology. The new center was funded by state-issued bonds.
LATROBE, Pa.-Community hospitals in Pennsylvania will be able to save an estimated $5 million over the next year by allowing paramedics to administer intravenous heparin, an anti-blood-clotting drug, while transporting patients from hospitals to tertiary-care facilities. Registered nurses previously had to administer the drug. According to a study by Latrobe (Pa.) Area Hospital, the facility's nursing department has saved $25,000 since March, when the Pennsylvania Department of Health approved paramedic administration. Richard Kunkle, M.D., director of Latrobe's department of emergency medicine, said all Pennsylvania hospitals that transfer patients to tertiary-care facilities will save money by letting paramedics give the drug, but it will be most cost-effective for hospitals with a transport time of more than 30 minutes. So far, no survey has been done to determine how many of Pennsylvania's acute-care hospitals plan to implement the practice.