BALTIMORE-University of Maryland Medical System, a Baltimore-based healthcare network that includes three hospitals, has become the parent company of Maryland General Health Systems, which includes 225-bed Maryland General Hospital in Baltimore. No money changed hands, but Maryland General will cede some control and receive a capital infusion from the university network. Maryland General, which includes a physician network in Baltimore and suburbs, earned $500,000 on revenues of $114 million in fiscal 1998 ended June 30, 1998. The university network earned $4.7 million on revenues of $549 million in fiscal 1998. The network includes flagship 768-bed University of Maryland Medical Center.
BATESVILLE, Ark.-White River Medical Center in Batesville has purchased Stone County Medical Center in nearby Mountain View. Stone Mountain, a 48-bed acute-care hospital, was owned by a private investor, who bought it in 1985. Terms were not disclosed. White River is a 180-bed, not-for-profit hospital that operates eight rural health clinics.
CLINTON, S.C-Four hospitals in upstate South Carolina have formed an alliance to wrest better rates from managed-care plans. The Greater Carolina Health Alliance includes Clinton-based Laurens County Healthcare System, whose 216-bed Laurens County Hospital is managed by Quorum Health Resources; 355-bed Self Memorial Hospital in Greenwood; 48-bed Abbeville (S.C.) County Memorial Hospital; and 40-bed Edgefield (S.C.) County Hospital.
NASHVILLE-Vanderbilt University Medical Center said earlier this month that it plans to form a mergerlike partnership with 105-bed Metropolitan Nashville General Hospital, the city-owned teaching facility for historically black Meharry Medical College. Under the arrangement, the city will cap spending at Metropolitan Nashville at $23 million for the next three years, and 581-bed Vanderbilt will manage the facility. Students at both schools will have access to the resources and residency programs of both hospitals.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla.-Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida earlier this month launched a for-profit subsidiary to assume the plan's current Medicare contracts and pursue new Medicare business. The formation of First Coast Service Options came in response to HCFA's new emphasis on enhanced customer service and safeguards, said Blues plan executives. The Florida Blues has served as an intermediary for Medicare Part A claims and a carrier for Part B claims since 1966. Last year, it processed 56 million Medicare claims in Florida, and issued $8.5 billion in benefit payments. This year, the new subsidiary expects Medicare revenues of $127 million. Medicare HMO business is not included in that total.
LITTLE ROCK, Ark.-Dozens of Arkansas nursing homes have reported state staffing numbers that don't meet state requirements, but regulators have cited few of the homes for the deficiencies. Though 66 of the state's 227 nursing homes-29%-reported having fewer nurses and nurses' assistants than the state requires, only 5.1% were cited by regulators in the state Department of Human Services' Office of Long Term Care. More than half the nursing homes-130 of them, or 57%-reported too few certified nurses' assistants, who do much of the work of caring for residents. The figures were compiled from reports for the year ending June 30, 1997, comprising the most recent data available.