MILWAUKEEAurora Health Care filed plans with Summit, Wis., to build a 110-bed hospital and medical office building there. The $189 million project, if approved by Summit authorities, would end the 12-hospital systems long-running battle to build a hospital in Waukesha County, Aurora spokesman Jeff Squire said. Once Summit clears Auroras plan, the system will drop lawsuits against Oconomowoc, Wis., and Waukesha County, Squire said. Approval is expected by early March, he said. Aurora sued Oconomowoc in 2001, after its city council rezoned property to prevent the system from building an 88-bed hospital there. Aurora sought to build its hospital in adjacent Summit and sued Waukesha County, which includes both Oconomowoc and Summit, after failing to win zoning approval. Aurora won its case against Oconomowoc in May 2006. The city has the authority to rezone adjacent property and subsequently rezoned the property in Summit to allow the hospital project to go through there.
MADISON, Wis.Two Wisconsin hospital systems reached agreements with the state over uninsured-billing practices. Three-hospital Mercy Health, Janesville, will give uninsured patients an automatic discount equivalent to the weighted average percentage discount received by the majority of insured patientsa minimum of 20%. Mercy also agreed to disclose in a plain and concise fashion its discount and collection procedures, and provide a report to the state justice department no later than May 1, 2008, detailing the results of the policy. Mercy said the agreement was voluntary and in line with what Mercy previously offered the uninsured. ProHealth Care, Waukesha, agreed to automatic discounts of 10% to 20% for self-pay patients depending on how promptly the patient pays the bill, and to additional discounts based on ability to pay. ProHealth said it made modest changes to two existing policies to address the justice departments concerns.
DETROITNurses filed a class-action antitrust lawsuit against Detroit-area hospitals and health systems last month, claiming they colluded since before November 2002 to fix wages at below-market values. The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Detroit, names Bon Secours Cottage Health Services, Detroit Medical Center, Henry Ford Health System, McLaren Health Care Corp., Oakwood Healthcare and St. John Health. It follows similar class-action lawsuits filed on behalf of nurses in Arizona, Illinois, New York, Tennessee and Texas. A spokesman for the Michigan Health & Hospital Association declined to comment on the matter, citing the pending litigation.