NEW ORLEANSThe Louisiana State University Health Care Services Division last month said patients would be moved from the temporary trauma center at Ochsner Health Systems Elmwood Hospital in the Jefferson Parish area of New Orleans to LSU Interim Hospital in New Orleans. This marks the first time since August 2005 that the trauma center has been located in Orleans Parish, which includes the downtown area of New Orleans, since Hurricane Katrina hit, the system said. The trauma center and emergency department are located in a newly renovated area of the first floor of the interim hospital, and the trauma center serves Orleans, Jefferson, St. Bernard, Plaquemines and St. Charles parishes.
GREENVILLE, S.C.A patient simulation training system opened at Greenville Hospital System, the first site in a statewide network that Health Sciences South Carolina plans to open. Each system will be used in the training and continuing education of physicians, nurses and allied health professionals. The initial site at Greenville is a temporary location covering 6,500 square feet and housing six full-body patient simulators. Eventually, the simulation center will be part of the Research Education and Innovation Institute at 801-bed Greenville Memorial Medical Campus. The permanent site will have more education and research programs and will cover 12,000 square feet. Health Sciences South Carolina was founded in 2004 by the University of South Carolina and three providersGreenville, the 587-bed MUSC Medical Center in Charleston and Palmetto Health in Columbiato improve the health of the states residents through health sciences research and education. Clemson University and Spartanburg (S.C.) Regional Healthcare System joined the collaboration more recently.
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C.North Carolina Baptist Hospital, Winston-Salem, received certificate-of-need approval for a $218.5 million project to expand its emergency room and provide larger patient rooms, although no net beds will be added to the 978-bed campus. The hospital plans to build a new patient tower with the expanded emergency room for adult patients, 132 intensive-care beds and 12 intermediate acute-care beds, according to the states CON findings. The tower is expected to open in July 2010. The existing emergency room, located within the childrens hospital that is part of the campus, will be dedicated to pediatric patients. The hospital expects to issue $200 million in bonds to finance the project, relying on reserves for the remainder.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla.Florida would need $51 million over three years to build a statewide network for electronic health records, a recently released analysis from the Florida Health Policy Center said. The center, a collaboration launched and financed by seven foundations, said Florida needs 16 regional health information organizations and one statewide office to meet healthcare information technology needs of the states roughly 18 million residents, at an estimated cost of $3 million for each organization. The $51 million total includes costs for the states 10 RHIOs already under development. The report estimated yearly costs per RHIO to range from $500,000 to $1 million.
CONCORD, N.C.NorthEast Medical Center was accused in a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission of firing a black employee in 2005 because of his race. In a statement, NorthEast denied the allegations and pledged to defend itself vigorously in court. According to the lawsuit, which was filed in U.S. District Court in Greensboro, N.C., the 365-bed hospital contends it fired the employee for making untruthful statements during an internal investigation into a missing computer component. The EEOC alleges that one or more white employees engaged in similar behavior without being fired. The lawsuit seeks a permanent injunction to bar the hospital from engaging in discriminatory employment practices.
RICHMOND, Va.Virginia doctors in July will be getting a boost to their Medicaid payments. Under a series of across-the-board spending adjustments approved by the states General Assembly in its 2007 legislative session, physicians providing pediatric services will be getting a 10% increase. This includes an 8% increase passed in 2006 and a 2% increase passed in 2007, according to a statement from the Medical Society of Virginia. All other physicians will receive a 5% increase to Medicaid payments. Pediatricians are likely to feel an impact from the boost, but as for the across-the-board increase to all physicians, it becomes more of a treading-water situation, where if physicians were considering opting out of Medicaid, it would give them pause to do that, said Keith Hare, director of governmental affairs with the Medical Society of Virginia.
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