New reimbursement proposed
* Rep. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) introduced legislation last week to pay critical-access hospitals, those with 25 beds or less, based on actual costs, rather than a percentage of the costs, for follow-up care such as nursing-home care or home health services. Payments to hospitals for ambulance services would also be based on costs under the legislation, and hospitals with up to 50 beds would be paid on actual costs for inpatient, outpatient home health and ambulance services. A companion bill in the Senate was introduced last month.
Grady to merge with OhioHealth
* A stand-alone central Ohio hospital in the state's fastest-growing county has agreed to merge with a large not-for-profit Columbus system. Eight-hospital OhioHealth, which recently announced plans to build a $130 million hospital in the Columbus suburb of Dublin, last week announced it would acquire 75-bed Grady Memorial Hospital in Delaware, about 20 miles north of Columbus. In April, Grady's board voted to become a member of OhioHealth in a transaction in which no money changed hands. Grady President and Chief Executive Officer Bud Weber said OhioHealth purchased a 25% stake in the not-for-profit community hospital in 2001, but the relationship dates back more than 20 years.
System appeals CON defeat
* Presbyterian Healthcare, Charlotte, N.C., and the state Health and Human Services Department asked the North Carolina Supreme Court last week to overturn an appellate court ruling that invalidated the certificate of need for Presbyterian Hospital Huntersville. The North Carolina Court of Appeals ruled last month that the department did not give a rival hospital a chance to challenge new evidence presented by Presbyterian in its CON bid. The 50-bed hospital in Huntersville opened in November 2004. Although the appellate court did not order the hospital to close, the ruling complicated the hospital's legal status, as it is without a CON.