Fairview chief Norling to join Premier. Richard Norling, the head of Minneapolis-based Fairview Health Services, will leave the company in October to become chief operating officer at Premier, the San Diego-based hospital alliance. Norling's job is a newly created one, and he will report to Robert O'Leary, Premier's chairman and chief executive officer. According to Premier, Norling's coming on board doesn't change job duties for Ben Latimer, vice chairman, or Alan Weinstein, president. Norling will assume the day-to-day executive operating duties O'Leary has handled since Premier was established 20 months ago. Norling, 51, has been Fairview's CEO since 1989. During his tenure, Norling helped grow the company from a Twin Cities hospital holding company to a statewide integrated health system. Earlier this year, Fairview bought the prestigious University of Minnesota Hospital and Clinic in Minneapolis for $87.5 million. Fairview operates eight hospitals and 30 clinics.
Hospital prices climb 0.2% in July. Wholesale prices for acute-care hospital services rose 0.2% in July, the highest monthly increase this year since January, when prices rose 0.4%, according to the U.S. Labor Department's Producer Price Index released last week. The PPI measures changes in net revenues per episode of care. The July increase in hospital wholesale prices was driven by a 0.3% hike in net revenues from privately insured hospital patients. In the 12-month period ended in July, hospital prices rose a total of 1.2%.
Bergen, Ivax settle up for broken merger. Ivax Corp. and Bergen Brunswig Corp last week agreed to an out-of-court settlement of a lawsuit stemming from the collapse of their planned $1.5 billion merger. Bergen Brunswig, a drug and medical-surgical distributor, based in Orange, Calif., and Ivax, a generic drugmaker in Miami, did not release terms of the settlement. In March Bergen Brunswig had filed suit in federal district court in New York alleging that Ivax breached their merger agreement. It sought a $50 million breakup fee and unspecified damages.
Contracting exec Schrader leaves VHA. Edward G. Schrader Jr., a key contracting executive at VHA, has left the alliance to become vice president for strategic planning and director of business development at Arterial Vascular Engineering, a Santa Rosa, Calif.-based maker of stents and angioplasty catheters. Schrader had headed cardiology product contracting at Irving, Texas-based VHA. The alliance is searching for a replacement.
Cardinal, Physician Sales and Service sign deal. Dublin, Ohio-based Cardinal Health has become the primary drug distributor for Physician Sales and Service, a Jacksonville, Fla.-based distributor of products to physician offices, the companies said last week. Over the life of the three-year contract, Cardinal is expected to supply $75 million in pharmaceuticals and related supplies. The arrangement, effective immediately, replaces agreements PSS had with several other distributors, the companies said.
Physician groups agree on merger. The American College of Physicians and the American Society of Internal Medicine have agreed on the principles of a proposed merger in the second half of 1998. Formal merger recommendations will be submitted to the governing boards of each organization for approval this fall. The new organization would be known as the American College of Physicians-American Society of Internal Medicine. The college, headquartered in Philadelphia, represents 100,000 internal medicine physicians and medical students. The society, based in Washington, has 20,000 members.