ELKO, Nev.-Elko General Hospital officials accepted requests for proposals late last month from several hospital operators to purchase the 50-bed campus. In an interview just before the April 30 RFP deadline, Chief Executive Officer Anne Rieger said at least seven bids were expected. Bidders include for-profits, such as Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corp. and Universal Health Services, and not-for-profits, such as Lutheran Health Services. Rieger said the sale would be contingent on the buyer's intent to replace or overhaul the county-owned hospital, which was built in the 1950s and is showing its age. The Elko County Commission would have to approve the sale. Although Elko, which is in the northeastern tip of Nevada, is blessed with a growing population fueled by a mining boom, Rieger said it doesn't have the resources to replace the hospital on its own.
SANTA FE, N.M.-HealthCor Holdings, a Dallas-based home-care company, said it has acquired the home-care operations of VNS Health Services in Santa Fe. Terms of the deal weren't disclosed. VNS retained its control of a not-for-profit AIDS clinic. HealthCor said the acquired home-care services reach throughout northern New Mexico and generated revenues of $5 million for the fiscal year ended June 30, 1996. S. Wayne Bazzle, HealthCor chairman and chief executive officer, said the company plans to open an infusion therapy pharmacy along with respiratory therapy and home medical equipment centers near the new operations. HealthCor, a publicly traded company, provides home-care services at 98 locations in nine Central and Southwestern states.
MESA, Ariz.-Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corp. is considering building a $35 million, 60-bed hospital in Mesa, according to published reports. Columbia officials recently told the Arizona Republic it's reviewing the existing facilities in the Phoenix suburb and querying doctors about the need for another hospital. Land for the hospital is in escrow. If Columbia proceeds, it would break ground later this year or in early 1998, with completion in about 18 months.
DENVER-A recent exam by the Colorado Division of Insurance led state regulators to reprimand Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Colorado for more than 50 transgressions. Problems included requiring Medicare-eligible enrollees to drop their private insurance, not notifying enrollees they were eligible for individual insurance when their employers canceled group plans, and violating state requirements by limiting benefits such as home healthcare and ambulance payments. The results of the audit were downplayed by a Blues official, who pointed out it was done during 1995. New controls have been put in place since then, said Executive Vice President Steve O'Dell. He said the audit took place as the Blues instituted state-mandated health insurance reforms for small businesses. "It was a complicated and difficult implementation," O'Dell said. The release of the audit comes amid the Blues' appeal for state approval to convert from a not-for-profit to a for-profit company. The Blues is the third company audited under a program to assess whether insurance companies are in compliance with small-business insurance requirements, officials said.