The board of city-owned Lincoln (Neb.) General Hospital approved the sale of the 217-bed facility to 316-bed Bryan Memorial Hospital, also in Lincoln. If the board's recommendation is approved by the Lincoln City Council in a Dec. 18 vote, formal negotiations between the facilities can begin again. Talks between the two were halted this summer after Lincoln Mayor Mike Johanns called for a public study of alternatives to the sale of Lincoln General to Bryan Memorial. Lincoln General's other suitor was 208-bed St. Elizabeth Community Health Center, the third acute-care hospital in Lincoln.
A joint venture controlled by Quorum Health Group completed its acquisition of 347-bed Barberton (Ohio) Citizens Hospital, changing it to for-profit status. Under the sale terms, $75 million will be transferred to a not-for-profit foundation. Akron-based Summa Health System and Cleveland (Ohio) Clinic Foundation are minority partners in the joint venture. The deal cleared a major hurdle Nov. 5 when Barberton voters approved a waiver of the city's right to the hospital property (Dec. 2, p. 33).
The Georgia Board of Medical Assistance approved a plan drafted by a special task force to extend a managed-care program to all the state's 1.2 million Medicaid recipients. Currently, only 336,909 Medicaid recipients in the Atlanta area are eligible. The Georgia Coalition for Health, a group of healthcare, business and academic leaders, drafted the plan, which would require enrollment in HMOs by 1999. The state intends to apply for a Medicaid waiver from HCFA to implement the program.
Two U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs hospitals in Des Moines and Knoxville, Iowa, will merge after a long history of shared operations. The VA has consolidated 30 other medical facilities in 14 locations in the past two years. The 117-bed Des Moines hospital and the 609-bed Knoxville facility are 40 miles apart. They share primary-care teams, rehabilitation services, environmental management and physician credentialing.