I would like to correct the record regarding the July 5 story "Inova also putting HMO up for sale" (p. 22) about the pending sale of Innovation Health, an HMO owned by Inova Health System.
The story's financial chart contained inaccurate information about the health plan's membership and finances. Inova Health System bought Principal Health Care Dec. 31, 1997, so the $3.9 million loss that year was not incurred by Inova.
Innovation Health never had 20,100 enrollees and did not lose overall enrollment. Inova's agreement with Principal was a partial purchase of the health plan for about 10,000 enrollees who were from the surrounding area; the rest of the enrollees were transferred to Principal Health of Delaware.
A statement attributed to Inova about Innovation Health's enrollment having grown by 2,000-to about 12,000-was indeed correct. However, after reviewing state filings, the reporter assumed otherwise instead of asking about an apparent discrepancy. (The Virginia Corporation Commission said the plan had lost enrollees.)
The article also mentioned the 1997 merger with Alexandria (Va.) Hospital, saying the deal was the subject of a federal antitrust investigation when in fact it was a routine Federal Trade Commission review to which all hospital mergers are subject.
Editorial judgments were made about Inova's motives, suggesting the organization cares too much for the bottom line. Hospitals and health systems cannot ignore their fiduciary responsibilities. Without a reasonable revenue margin, we could not continue our mission of not-for-profit healthcare.
Last year Inova provided $42 million in charity care and community health programs to the local area without any reimbursement.
The pending sale of Innovation Health is a prudent business decision that will enable the organization to continue its mission of providing high-quality medical care to all residents of northern Virginia.
Senior manager, media relations
Inova Health System
Falls Church, Va.