WARREN, Ohio-HM Health Services has put its former St. Joseph Riverside Hospital up for sale. Acute-care services were phased out at the 248-bed facility in late 1996, and all healthcare operations ceased this spring. HM moved its acute-care services to the former Warren (Ohio) General Hospital after merging with Warren General Health Systems early last year. Office space, assisted living and warehousing would be appropriate uses for the space, according to HM, which continues to operate an urgent-care center and other outpatient facilities on the surrounding campus. HM is part of Humility of Mary Health System, which also owns St. Elizabeth Health Center in Youngstown, Ohio, and home-care operations in Youngstown and Warren.
DETROIT-Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Michigan will merge its four regional HMOs to create the state's largest HMO with 585,000 enrollees, called Blue Care Network of Michigan. The company said the merger would facilitate the spread of new products, promote consistency and reduce duplication. At least two of its four HMOs recently encountered financial difficulties. Blue Care Network of Southeast Michigan posted an $11 million operating loss in 1996, attributed to retraining, price competition and the launch of a Medicare HMO. A Grand Rapids-based plan fell out of compliance with net-worth regulations briefly this summer when an $11.3 million first-half loss wiped out its reserves. It returned to compliance after receiving a loan from the Southeast plan, the Blue said.
LANSING, Mich.-Michigan Capital Medical Center changed its name early this month to Ingham Regional Medical Center after a consumer survey revealed the two-hospital system was known by six different names, a spokesman said. Confusion stemmed from the fact that Michigan Capital was created in 1993 through the merger of Ingham Medical Center and Lansing General Hospital. The survey showed the Ingham name, which had been scrapped, was most recognized, the spokesman said. The system expects to complete an affiliation with Flint, Mich.-based McLaren Health Care Corp. by the end of the month. The former Michigan Capital scrapped a proposed joint venture with Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corp. last year after a judge ruled the deal would violate state law.
YORK, Neb.-A $6.2 million renovation and expansion project is in the works for 48-bed York General Hospital. The project, expected to begin next March, will take about two years to complete. Besides a major overhaul of the hospital, the project will include 25,700 square feet of new construction. The space will be used for a new surgical suite, expanded physical therapy areas, newly renovated patient rooms and a new outpatient specialty clinic. The not-for-profit hospital plans to pay for the project through the sale of tax-exempt bonds.
ST. LOUIS-SSM Health Care System is cutting 330 positions at six of its seven hospitals in the St. Louis area. Most of the jobs will be administrative and support staff, not patient care, said Dixie Platt, an SSM spokeswoman. "We are a mission-driven organization. We operate in a very challenging environment and have to control our costs," she said. Five vice president positions were eliminated at the network level. Each hospital is working toward a specific staffing goal, and the network is looking at further reductions in administration and other fixed costs. Many of the positions are vacant or will be eliminated through early retirement, attrition and voluntary layoffs. Those whose positions are eliminated may be qualified for other vacant positions in SSM hospitals. Relatively few people will be laid off, Platt said. Individual hospital administrators are selecting the positions to be eliminated.