NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. -- A California company involved in the home oxygen equipment business and its related companies have agreed to pay the federal government $5 million to resolve two whistleblower lawsuits. The payment will settle charges that Newport Beach-based Home Americair of California, its billing company, two Americair franchises and two individuals engaged in a complex scheme to provide home oxygen equipment to Medicare beneficiaries who did not qualify to have Medicare pay for the service.
MEDFORD, Ore. -- Providence Medford Medical Center has announced plans for a $14.5 million expansion to provide more cancer and outpatient services for the growing population of southern Oregon. Construction will begin April 27 on the four-story Providence Pavilion, which will offer 66,000 square feet of space. Completion is set for March 1999. The hospital is running out of room for doctors' offices and examination rooms, and it needs more space for outpatient and diagnostic services associated with a new computed tomography scanner, said Chuck Wright, chief executive officer of Providence Health System Southern Oregon. In some cases the patient backlog is six weeks, he said. "So we're recruiting more doctors, mostly primary-care doctors," Wright added. The project is the third and largest addition to the hospital campus in five years. Outpatient surgeries are growing by 10% a year, and the hospital wants to accommodate more doctors during peak demand times and add new services, Wright said. Census figures show Jackson County has grown from 132,500 people in 1980 to an estimated 169,300 in 1997.
HONOLULU -- Kahuku Hospital will have to curtail or cut some services if legislators approve a 50% cut in its state operating subsidy, according to its chief executive officer, Keith Ridley. Half of $417,000 doesn't sound like much, but for Kahuku, which already is losing money, it will be a big loss, Ridley said. He said the hospital might have to limit emergency services to less than 24 hours a day and possibly eliminate obstetric services. The cut is included in Gov. Ben Cayetano's proposed state budget, which is being debated by legislators.