MILWAUKEEAurora Health Care said it will acquire physician-owned Advanced Healthcare, a multispecialty group practice. Terms of the deal, which has not yet closed, were not released. Physician Nick Turkal, Auroras president and chief executive officer, said that the deal expands the 11-hospital systems geographic reach and adds Advance Healthcares 250 physicians to Aurora Medical Groups 680-doctor practice. The system also announced plans to build a hospital in the Wisconsin village of Grafton. The proposed hospitals cost, size and location within Grafton have not yet been made final, a spokesman said.
LANSING, Mich.Early next year the Michigan Health & Hospital Association plans to post an index of charges at the states not-for-profit hospitals. The associations board voted unanimously this month to develop a Web site that would list charges for the most common 30 to 50 tests and procedures at its
146 member hospitals, said Lori Latham, senior director of political and public affairs. The goal is to get the site online by January or February. The plan was first reported in the Detroit Free Press, getting ahead of the associations efforts to inform all of its members. Many were involved in a task force and subsequent meetings about the idea, Latham said. We have a long way to go and a lot of work by our staff and our member hospitals in order to get this Web site up in January, Latham said. It doesnt help just to throw up data on a Web site if consumers cant navigate it, and ultimately if the datas wrong, it doesnt help. The association will look for guidance in transparency efforts in other states, such as Wisconsins wipricepoint.org, launched in 2005. It could be very confusing if patients only look at the chargethats the part that concerns us, said Paul Szilagyi, regional vice president for Henry Ford Health System, a five-hospital system in Michigan. The reality is this is the way the market is moving, and it makes sense this is the way Michigan is moving, too, Szilagyi said.
CINCINNATIThree institutions are planning a joint cancer center to coordinate and enhance care and research in southern Ohio. Cincinnati Childrens Hospital Medical Center, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine and 446-bed University Hospital have pooled $60 million in seed money to update facilities, create new clinical programs, recruit physicians and scientists and speed research, according to a news release announcing the partnership. The university has committed to raising as much as $200 million. The yet-to-be-named cancer center will be led by physician David Stern, dean of the medical college; James Anderson, president and chief executive officer of the 418-bed childrens hospital; Arnold Strauss, chairman of pediatrics at the medical college; and James Kingsbury, executive directory and senior vice president of University Hospital. They intend to work toward designation as a Comprehensive Cancer Center by the National Cancer Institute. The efforts will be housed at existing facilities to begin with, but over time the partners envision building new ones to accommodate shared clinical activities, particularly programs that monitor child cancer survivors into adulthood.
LIBERTYVILLE, Ill.Condell Medical Center held a groundbreaking ceremony Aug. 15 for an expanded emergency department that will bring Level 1 trauma service to the area, about 40 miles north of Chicago. The 43,000-square-foot department will triple the size of the existing space, a Level 2 trauma center. The new department, scheduled to be completed by 2009, will accommodate as many as 90,000 visits per year. Condell is paying for the expansion with a bond issue. Meanwhile, the hospital is in the design phase of a $105 million bed tower and modernization project, which will add 26 beds to the count while converting nearly all of the hospitals remaining semiprivate rooms to private rooms. Condell currently has 257 staffed beds, according to the hospital. Its time, said President and Chief Executive Officer Dennis Millirons, noting that the population of the hospitals home of Lake County has grown past 700,000 and continues to grow. We dont have a Level 1 trauma center in this county, he said. There are a number of things we havent had. Condell is opposing proposals from eight-hospital Advocate Health Care, Oak Brook, Ill., and two-campus Vista Health System, Waukegan, Ill., for hospitals in Lake County within 15 miles of Libertyville. Millirons said Condells position is that carving up the communities among several small hospitals would make it difficult for any of them to provide the specialty care thats needed.
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