ELMHURST, Ill.-Elmhurst Memorial Hospital will develop its own relationships with insurers and managed-care plans after deciding last month to end its affiliation discussions with Northwestern Healthcare, a Chicago-based hospital network. Elmhurst said payers in its suburban Chicago market have placed more emphasis on "local relationships." The hospital's physician-hospital organization, Elmcare, which began operating last year, serves more than 100,000 HMO and PPO patients in the Elmhurst area. "We are well-positioned for the future," said Leo Fronza, president and chief executive officer of Elmhurst Memorial Health System, parent of the hospital. Earlier this year, Elmhurst began affiliation discussions with Northwestern after deciding against linking with Advocate Health Care of Oak Brook, Ill.
COLUMBUS, Ohio-Ohio Gov. George Voinovich last week signed legislation to cap noneconomic damages in healthcare liability lawsuits. The cap is the greater of $250,000 or three times economic damages, up to $500,000. In certain cases, exceptions could be made to limit noneconomic damages to the greater of $1 million or $35,000 per year for each of the expected number of years remaining in the plaintiff's life. Ohio joined 17 other states that have set limits on noneconomic damages in healthcare liability cases, according to the Washington-based Health Care Liability Alliance, which advocates federal healthcare liability reform.