LOS ANGELES-More than a third of inpatient buildings in California will have to be extensively overhauled, replaced or converted to other uses by 2008 to meet new seismic standards, according to the state's Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development. Based on reports from 426 hospitals statewide, the office said 966 of 2,467 acute-care structures are in danger of collapsing during a major earthquake.
DENVER-HHS has granted the state of Colorado two changes in its State Children's Health Insurance Program, the federal-state program for insuring children not covered by Medicaid. HHS will allow Colorado to drop its monthly premiums in favor of an annual enrollment fee of $25 for one child or $35 for families with two or more children, provided the family's income level is from 151% to 185% of the federal poverty level (See story, p. 20).
DENVER-Regulators from two Colorado agencies are investigating the business practices of 34,000-enrollee Community Health Plan of the Rockies. The state departments of insurance and of healthcare policy and finance are looking into allegations made by a former customer service manager, Gary Dick, in a suit filed in state court in March. Dick accuses the plan of denying care and intentionally not paying claims. The company denies the allegations.
TUCSON, Ariz.-University Medical Center says red ink is forcing it to sever its link with an artificial heart it developed and a company it created. The teaching hospital will still perform heart transplants and still use artificial hearts, but it will no longer operate CardioWest, the firm it established to develop the only totally artificial heart (See story, p. 40).