Burfitt takes helm at Centura
Centura Health, Englewood, Colo., named Gregory Burfitt, 56, president and chief executive officer, succeeding Joseph Swedish, who joined Trinity Health, Novi, Mich., Jan. 1 as president and CEO. Burfitt leaves Inova Health System, Falls Church, Va., after joining the five-hospital system as chief operating officer in August 2004. Burfitt also previously held executive positions at hospitals within two for-profit health systems, HCA and Tenet Healthcare Corp. Centura Health executives declined to provide Burfitt's salary, but in 2002, the most recent year available through the Web site Guidestar.org, Swedish earned $550,314 in wages and another $489,800 for benefits and expenses. Centura's interim CEO, Jay Picerno, will continue as COO and executive vice president, jobs he held prior to and during his post as temporary head of the health system.
HealthSouth CFO gets 2 years
One of HealthSouth Corp.'s former chief financial officers, Weston Smith, was sentenced Sept. 22 to more than two years in prison by a federal judge for violations of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. Senior U.S. District Judge Robert Propst in Birmingham, Ala., sentenced Smith, 45, of Hoover, Ala., to 27 months in prison followed by one year of supervised release and ordered Smith to forfeit $1.5 million. Smith, a whistle-blower in the fraud case against the Birmingham-based company, received the longest sentence to date of any former HealthSouth official, the Associated Press reported. Smith pleaded guilty in March 2003 to conspiracy, securities fraud and violation of Sarbanes-Oxley, a corporate accountability law. Also sentenced was Will Hicks, 41, a former vice president of investments at HealthSouth. Hicks, of Seattle, was ordered to forfeit $50,000 and fined $2,500. Propst sentenced Hicks to two years of probation, including three months of home detention. Hicks pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and securities fraud in August 2003.
75% rule affects 30,000: study
Tightened restrictions of the so-called 75% rule have resulted in 30,000 fewer Medicare patients receiving care at inpatient rehabilitation facilities, according to a report released Sept. 22 by the Federation of American Hospitals and the American Hospital Association, both of which list rehabilitation owners and operators among their members. The rule, which went into effect in May, requires that to qualify as a rehabilitation facility and receive higher Medicare reimbursement, a facility must show by 2007 -- when the rule will be fully implemented -- that 75% of its patients have one of 13 conditions. A day earlier, the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities, a coalition of 33 national disability organizations, sent a letter to House leaders stating that the CMS' current interpretation of the rule "threatens the availability" of rehabilitation services. Herb Kuhn, director of the CMS' Center for Medicare Management, said the rule "is doing what it's intended to do; removing the risk from the Medicare program for overpayment of these services."