Virginia system plans layoffs
* Five-hospital Inova Health System, Falls Church, Va., said last week it plans to lay off 113 employees and cut others' hours to offset growing costs, saving approximately $22.5 million over the next six months. About half of the employees will be placed in open positions elsewhere in the system, company spokeswoman Lisa Wolfington said. Most job changes will affect administrative and support staff, Wolfington said. In addition to higher supply costs and medical liability premiums, Inova expects uncompensated care to rise 28% this year, she said.
Saint Vincent seeks 9th facility
* Saint Vincent Catholic Medical Centers in New York will take over ownership of St. Clare's Hospital and Health Center from the Archdiocese of New York. Composed of eight hospitals, Saint Vincent is sponsored by the Sisters of Charity of New York and the Diocese of Brooklyn. St. Clare's will be renamed St. Vincent's Midtown Hospital. The partnership will broaden Saint Vincent's reach in Manhattan and is "an important strategic growth opportunity for Saint Vincent Catholic Medical Centers," system officials said last week in a written statement. The deal, which requires state and federal approval, is expected to close in September.
W.Va. hospitals form joint center
* The two Wheeling, W.Va., acute-care hospitals said last week they have formed a joint trauma program, giving West Virginia its second Level II trauma center. Starting last week, 276-bed Wheeling Hospital was to treat trauma patients on odd-numbered days and 369-bed Ohio Valley Medical Center was to treat them on even-numbered days. A state tort reform law allows the joint program to receive provisional status from the state immediately, Ohio Valley spokesman Howard Gamble said. After a year, the program can receive permanent status. The law's $500,000 cap on damages for trauma centers also was key to the program, he said.