Wholesale prices for acute-care hospital services dropped 0.1% in May and were up just 1.2% for the 12-month period ended in May, according to the U.S. Labor Department's Producer Price Index released late last week. The PPI measures changes in net revenues per episode of care. Wholesale prices for physician services, meanwhile, were unchanged in May and up 1.2% for the 12 months ended in May.
Arlington (Texas) Memorial Hospital late last week signed a nonbinding letter of intent to join the system being formed by Presbyterian Healthcare Resources and Harris Methodist System, both of Houston. Under the preliminary proposal, Arlington would name three members to the system's board. The board then would have 12 voting members and two ex officio positions. Harris Methodist and Presbyterian expect to complete their deal in July. With 306-bed Arlington, the system would have 12 hospitals.
President Clinton last week signed a disaster relief bill with a provision eliminating funding for HCFA's controversial managed-care competitive bidding project in Denver. Immediately prior to the signing, a U.S. District Court judge in Denver had extended until June 19 a temporary restraining order that barred HCFA from implementing the project. A coalition of managed-care organizations sought the order. The program would have required Denver-area managed-care plans to submit bids from which HCFA would pick a reimbursement rate.
Coastal Physician Group late last week reported a net loss of $145.6 million, or $6.10 per share, for the year ended Dec. 31, 1996, compared with a net loss of $46.9 million, or $1.98 per share, in 1995. Revenues dropped 32% to $552.1 million. The Durham, N.C.-based physician practice management company reported the earnings shortly after it fully repaid overdue bank debt of $82 million that was originally due Feb. 28 (See related story, p. 12).