Mass. hospitals get $5 million
Massachusetts General Hospital, an 898-bed facility in Boston, reached preliminary affiliation agreements with 25-bed Martha's Vineyard Hospital, Oak Bluffs, Mass., and 15-bed Nantucket (Mass.) Cottage Hospital. Under the agreements, the hospitals each would receive $5 million for capital improvements. All three hospitals' boards have approved the preliminary agreements. Final agreements are expected by year-end and must be approved by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. Massachusetts General said the affiliations aren't mergers and the hospitals will keep their existing governance structures. Martha's Vineyard said it plans to use the funds to finance a replacement hospital. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2007.
Uncomped care costs N.Y. billions
New York's healthcare providers delivered $2.8 billion in uncompensated care to the state's 2.5 million uninsured during 2005 -- and the uninsured would have sought $4.1 billion in additional care had they been insured throughout all of the year, according to a report by the Urban Institute. Most of the 2.5 million uninsured had no health coverage for all of 2005, the institute said. The $2.8 billion total was based on an analysis of cost reports from hospitals and diagnostic treatment centers, federal agency budgets and physician surveys. The federal government provided roughly $3.5 billion to cover safety-net care in New York, according to the report. The $700 million difference between federal subsidies and estimated uncompensated care was more than offset by payment shortfalls elsewhere, mainly Medicaid.
La. proposals submitted to HHS
The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals with the Louisiana Health Care Redesign Collaborative submitted to HHS a proposal to rebuild the healthcare system in the greater New Orleans area. Under the plan, the state would use Medicaid "to expand coverage to uninsured children, pregnant women, parents, individuals with disabilities and childless adults in a system that incentivizes the use of private insurance," according to a summary of the 67-page concept paper. The proposal highlighted some short-term needs, such as requesting that HHS allocate $120 million to the National Health Service Corps that would provide income guarantees, annual malpractice payment relief and incentive payments for physicians, dentists, psychiatrists, registered nurses, specialists and licensed professional staff.
Triad agrees to joint venture
Shannon Health System, San Angelo, Texas, said it agreed to a letter of intent with Triad Hospitals, Plano, Texas, to form a joint venture to operate Shannon's facilities in conjunction with Triad's 127-bed San Angelo Community Medical Center. Terms weren't disclosed. Under the agreement, Shannon would name the chairman of the board overseeing the joint venture, which would use the Shannon name. Triad would manage day-to-day operations. The deal would be Triad's 11th joint venture deal with a not-for-profit system. Triad's experience in joint ventures with not-for-profits played a role in the choice of Triad as Shannon's partner, Shannon board Chairman Len Mertz said in a written statement. A Triad spokeswoman said the company doesn't comment on letters of intent. For-profit hospital companies' joint ventures with not-for-profit systems were the focus of Modern Healthcare's April 3 cover story (p. 6).