* The revolving door seems to have spun out of control at Monsour Medical Center in Jeannette, Pa., while Western Pennsylvania's largest insurer, Highmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield, terminated its contract with the embattled hospital. Earlier this month, the hospital reportedly fired its chief executive, John Bukovac, who was hired March 1, and replaced him with Donna Kaminsky, a secretary at the hospital who has served as interim administrator before.
The hospital recently emerged from bankruptcy and is operating under its third provisional license because of serious deficiencies in care. State health department officials will automatically shut down the hospital if the problems are not corrected and it goes to a fourth provisional license, says Richard McGarvey, a state health department spokesman. The state has never revoked a license before and only once before has a hospital received a third provisional license, he says.
Based on a survey conducted in January and February, state health officials found a variety of problems, including a failure to properly document medical records and lock up medical supplies. Highmark officials say they conducted their own review at Monsour early this year and identified conditions that may affect the quality of care. Highmark says it would no longer reimburse Monsour for services that members receive at the facility except for emergency care out of "concern for the health, safety and well-being" of its members.
Officials at Monsour did not respond to several requests for comment.
* Jonathan Perlin was confirmed unanimously by the Senate as undersecretary for health at the Department of Veterans Affairs. He has been the acting undersecretary since April when Robert Roswell resigned amid problems with the adoption of a $472 million computerized financial and supply tracking system. Perlin, 44, had also been the acting chief research and development officer at the Veterans Health Administration. The VA provides healthcare to 7.6 million people.