CHARLESTON, W.Va.-The West Virginia Medicaid program expects to end the 1997-1998 fiscal year with a $26.5 million deficit, according to a recent report prepared for state lawmakers. Phil Shimer, deputy commissioner for the Bureau of Medical Services, said the state will have to cover about $7 million of the debt. He said the state's Medicaid reserve fund is expected to drop to $1.9 million from $22.8 million by the end of the fiscal year next June 30. The report said the shortfall is due to rising medical costs and changes that have made more than 80,000 children eligible for government-paid healthcare. The report projects a deficit of $200 million by 1999.
RICHMOND, Va.-Nashville-based Gordian Health Solutions has acquired Richmond-based Continental Health Promotion. Gordian, a corporate health management company co-founded by Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corp. board member R. Clayton McWhorter, will use Continental to help its clients reduce corporate healthcare claims. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Continental will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Gordian and will keep its name, management, clients and Richmond location.
MIAMI-Continucare Corp. has agreed to buy four outpatient services companies for a total of $17 million in cash and $2 million in stock. The companies generated combined net income of $2.5 million in 1996. Two of the acquisitions have been completed, and the remaining two are expected to close by the second quarter ending Dec. 31. The firms being acquired are Doctor's Health Group, Miami; Kahn & Riskin, Hollywood, Fla.; Maxicare Home Health Cos., Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; and Sunset Harbor Group, Miami.
HICKORY, N.C.-Wake County (N.C.) Superior Court Judge Howard E. Manning ruled that North Carolina Gov. Jim Hunt overstepped his authority when he amended a state health plan to allow a hospital to open a heart center. North Carolina has 20 authorized heart centers. The state health plan limits the number of heart centers to discourage unnecessary surgeries. The judge ruled in response to a lawsuit filed by 355-bed Frye Regional Medical Center in Hickory. The medical center objected to Hunt's decision to designate 190-bed Catawba Memorial Hospital, the only other acute-care hospital in Hickory, as a heart center. Frye runs a heart center three miles from Catawba Memorial. Manning said Hunt can only accept or reject the state health plan and cannot amend it. Catawba Memorial and Hunt are both appealing the decision.
OWINGS MILLS, Md.-Integrated Health Services has made deals with three post-acute services companies for undisclosed terms. IHS has agreed to buy Nashville-based Home Technology Healthcare, which operates 35 home-care agencies and generates some $70 million in annual revenues. In addition, it has acquired Naples, Fla.-based Comprehensive Care, which operates one home-care agency and generates about $1 million in annual revenues. IHS also has agreed to lease and operate Shadow Mountain Nursing Home, a 125-bed skilled-nursing facility in Las Vegas with $6 million in annual revenues. IHS operates more than 1,000 post-acute locations in 45 states.