LAS VEGAS-Aetna U.S. Healthcare, which has offered indemnity and point-of-service products in the Las Vegas area for a number of years, will introduce an HMO to the region beginning in September. It will employ its existing network of 800 physicians. No enrollment projections were immediately available. Aetna U.S. Healthcare currently has about 35,000 indemnity/POS enrollees in the region. Only about one-third of area residents belong to an HMO, roughly half the HMO penetration of Los Angeles, just 250 miles to the west. But HMO penetration has been increasing at a 15% annual clip, according to state statistics.
THOUSAND OAKS, Calif.-Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corp. split its California division into a northern and southern region and tapped two regional Columbia hospital executives to head the new divisions. Ronald Phelps, currently chief executive officer at Columbia Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center in Thousand Oaks, will become president of the Southern California division. Thomas May, currently president and chief executive officer at the seven-hospital Bay Area division of Columbia, based in San Jose, Calif., will become president of the northern division. Richard Bracken, now a top executive at a long-term-care company, had headed up all of Columbia's California operations. In California, Columbia operates 16 hospitals, 15 surgery centers, 10 home healthcare agencies and a statewide managed-care network.
NEEDLES, Calif.-Brentwood, Tenn.-based Principal Hospital Co. announced a lease agreement with Needles-Desert Communities Hospital. Before the deal, the 53-bed hospital had been managed by Principal subsidiary Brim Healthcare and owned by San Bernardino County. Terms of the deal weren't disclosed. Principal owns eight hospitals and manages 50 others through Brim.
SEATTLE-Brentwood, Tenn.-based American Home-Patient announced the acquisition of two home-care agencies with combined revenues of $13.5 million. Terms of the transactions were not disclosed. American HomePatient acquired Seattle-based Clinical Health Systems and Tacoma, Wash.-based Sound Medical Equipment. American HomePatient said it has acquired 15 companies with 36 centers and revenues of about $45 million since January (See related story, p. 28). For the second quarter ended June 30, American HomePatient reported a 40% rise in net income to $4.9 million, or 33 cents per share, compared with $3.5 million, or 27 cents per share, for the year-ago period. Revenues rose 52% to $94.8 million.
LOS ANGELES-Orthopaedic Hospital and Los Angeles County Martin Luther King-Drew Medical Center have announced a public-private partnership to increase the pediatric orthopedic care at the county-run facility. Under terms of the agreement, privately operated Orthopaedic will provide a full-time staff member at King-Drew, allowing the hospital to increase its clinic hours from one half-day per week to three half-days. Orthopaedic also will provide administrative support for the clinic, perform pediatric orthopedic surgeries on King-Drew patients, and provide care for indigent patients. The arrangement is one in a series of public-private partnerships the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services is arranging with private providers in order to cut costs and preserve the medical safety net for county residents.