LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Kentucky's Department of Insurance is dissatisfied with the response it received from Anthem Insurance Co. regarding the Indianapolis-based insurer's advertising campaign in the state. Campaign materials claim that the state's pending lawsuit against the insurer would boost premiums paid by the company's 1 million Kentucky enrollees. State insurance regulators consider Anthem's ads "deceptive and misleading" (Nov. 10, p. 34). In a letter dated Nov. 25, state insurance regulators gave Anthem another 10 working days to respond to additional questions about the insurer's mailings and radio advertisements. Jim Parker, Anthem's vice president of external relations, said the company will be responding to the state. He said Anthem stands by its ads and disagrees with a characterization of them as misleading or deceptive.
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Pending certificate-of-need approval, Memphis-based Methodist Health Systems plans to build a 71,000-square-foot, $27.3 million medical campus in nearby Olive Branch, Miss. The campus will include a 30-bed inpatient unit, emergency services, diagnostics, a surgical suite, an intensive-care unit and a neonatal intensive-care unit. Methodist expects to file the CON application with the state Department of Health this month. It hopes to start construction in late 1998. Methodist Health owns and operates 14 hospitals in west Tennessee and Mississippi.
FALLS CHURCH, Va. -- Inova Health System, Springfield, Va., last week signed an agreement to merge its Inova VNA Hospice into Hospice of Northern Virginia, Falls Church. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Hospice of Northern Virginia will remain an autonomous not-for-profit organization working with all healthcare providers in northern Virginia to care for terminally ill patients. Inova VNA Hospice was founded in 1992 as VNA Community Hospice, an Arlington-based affiliate of the Visiting Nurse Association of Northern Virginia. VNA's hospice and home health functions merged with Inova in April 1997 to form Inova VNA Home Health and Inova VNA Hospice. Hospice of Northern Virginia was incorporated in 1977 and contracted with VNA to provide home nursing visits to hospice patients before the hospice employed its own nurses. Hospice of Northern Virginia serves patients in 10 counties.