BOSTON-Boston-based Frontier Group said it has signed a contract to provide post-acute services for Oxford Health Plans' enrollees in Connecticut and Massachusetts. Frontier said it has agreed to provide short-term rehabilitation, long-term skilled-nursing care, and home care. Norwalk, Conn.-based Oxford has 1.8 million enrollees in Connecticut, Florida, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania.
NEW YORK-Harlem Hospital Center doctors said they have reached a two-year, $40 million contract with Columbia University's College of Physicians and Surgeons. The contract, negotiated by the Doctors Council, was ratified by Harlem's attending physicians and surgeons late last month. After working without a contract for a year, the 180 doctors voted in March to be represented in negotiations by the New York-based Doctors Council, the nation's largest union of attending physicians.
RUTLAND, Vt.-The equivalent of 25 full-time jobs are being cut at Rutland Regional Medical Center because it is treating fewer patients this year than expected. Without some changes, the hospital expected its revenues to be $2 million less than budgeted, said Thomas Huebner, acting hospital president. In addition to the job cuts, the hospital also is slowing the pace at which remaining employees accumulate their sick days and vacation time, said Huebner, who outlined the changes to hospital staff late last month. "We try to do it as humanely as possible," he said. "If you don't make the hard decisions and put them off, they get worse later." The revenue shortfall became apparent, Huebner said, after financial figures for hospital operations in May became available. They showed that instead of the predicted 97 beds occupied each day, only 82 beds were expected to be filled on average during the summer months. The hospital's planned $90 million budget would be at least $2 million short by the end of the fiscal year in September, he said. Administrators saved $1 million by reducing the size of a surplus built into the budget, but another $800,000 was to be saved through cutting workers, reducing benefits and eliminating some contracted services. A $200,000 boost in revenues was projected through growth in some services, such as the outpatient laboratory. Huebner said the new policies would not affect patient care.
BALTIMORE-Flagship Health will merge with Towson, Md.-based Clinical Associates and spend more than $50 million raised by its corporate parent to keep growing. The merger will roughly double Flagship's number of doctors and patients. The expanded network will be called Flagship Health Care and will have about 135 doctors in the region. It will provide primary and specialty care for 250,000 to 300,000 Marylanders. The merger is expected to become effective sometime this month. "What we have agreed to do is merge clinical systems, business systems and work together as colleagues and partners," said Dana Frank, M.D., president of Flagship's parent company, Physicians Quality Care. Founded in March 1996, Flagship merged late last year into Physicians Quality Care, a Waltham, Mass.-based physician practice management company that plans to go public within the next 12 months. Flagship Health Care will be one of the largest physician-managed groups in the state.