Ascension Health -- the country's largest not-for-profit healthcare system with 71 owned or affiliated hospitals -- named Anthony Tersigni as its new chief operating officer. The appointment was one of many hospital executive changes made with the start of the new year (See story, p. 23). Tersigni, 51, most recently served as senior vice president of Ascension's Great Lakes division. He replaces Douglas French, who took over Jan. 1 as St. Louis-based Ascension's new president and chief executive officer after the retirement of Donald Brennan.
Humana, Louisville, Ky., completed the new senior management team that will continue its financial turnaround with the appointments of James Bloem as chief financial officer and Steven Moya as chief marketing officer. Bloem, an independent financial consultant, will join the health insurer Feb. 5. He replaces James Murray, who has been serving as both CFO and chief operating officer since February. Moya, who assumed his post on Jan. 3, filled a new position.
Neoforma.com named Daniel Eckert to the new position of president and chief operating officer. Robert Zollars, who relinquished the presidency, will continue as chairman and chief executive officer. Eckert was promoted from senior vice president of marketplaces and assumes responsibility for all operations at the San Jose, Calif.-based e-commerce healthcare supply company.
Healthcare operations accounted for more than half of the $41 million loss in fiscal 2000 at the Medical University of South Carolina. The biggest contributor to the university's third straight annual loss was 572-bed MUSC Medical Center, Charleston, which posted a net loss of $18.1 million on revenue of $473 million, according to final audited results for the year ended June 30, 2000. University Medical Associates, the university's physician group, lost $2.9 million on revenue of $189 million.
Mercy Hospital, Springfield, Mass., announced a new tertiary affiliation and a minor name change. The 311-bed hospital signed an agreement to affiliate with 234-bed Lahey Clinic in Burlington, Mass. Also, Mercy said it is changing its name to Mercy Medical Center to reflect its comprehensive array of services. Mercy is the sole acute-care hospital in the Springfield-based Sisters of Providence Health System, which lost $12.6 million on total revenue of $186 million in the fiscal year ended Dec. 31, 1999.
WellStar Health System in Marietta, Ga., signed a $46.3 million information technology outsourcing agreement with McKesson HBOC, Atlanta. Under the seven-year contract, HBOC's outsourcing services group will provide remote data processing services and support, or install several HBOC applications WellStar has purchased in the past few years. WellStar, with five hospitals as well as satellite clinics and physician practices, said it believes it will secure unspecified savings through the deal.
The U.S. attorney's office in Philadelphia inked its seventh False Claims Act settlement against a nursing home, announcing a consent decree that calls for Toledo, Ohio-based Manor Care to pay $90,000 to resolve allegations of poor patient care at a Philadelphia facility. The facility also is required to hire a consultant to oversee wound care, quality, staffing and record-keeping and to set aside up to $100,000 annually for the project. The case is the latest filed by the Philadelphia U.S. attorney's office under the theory that providing substandard care results in false claims. Manor Care settled without admitting legal guilt at the facility.
HCFA this week will publish a final regulation that will officially close a controversial loophole in Medicaid law. That loophole allowed some states to artificially inflate the federal contribution to their state Medicaid budgets by funnelling money through public hospitals and nursing homes. Closing the loophole will save an estimated $21.5 billion over the next five years.