George Washington University has reversed its decision to sell its HMO and is starting an effort to expand enrollment.
After turning down several purchase offers, the GWU board has decided to retain the HMO and invest in information systems, expanded personnel and improved training for the plan, which has 90,000 enrollees.
That's a different tack than GWU took last year when faced with upgrading its aging Washington hospital. Rather than shouldering the entire burden of renovating the hospital or replacing it, GWU sold 80% of the facility to Universal Health Services, King of Prussia, Pa., for $125 million.
The health plan, which operates in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia, is recruiting a new executive team. It will be led by new Chief Executive Officer Stanley Aronovitch, formerly a senior vice president for Sharp HealthCare in San Diego. He replaces Norman Scott, M.D., who had served as acting CEO since January 1997.
Aronovitch said the HMO plans to widen enrollment by developing relationships with more key group and individual physician practices, as well as increasing the specialty and primary-care staffs at the GWU faculty practice plan's five suburban satellite clinics. The board wants to increase enrollment by 40,000, according to industry sources.