NEW YORKNYU Medical Center last month said it is renaming itself the NYU Elaine A. and Kenneth G. Langone Medical Center in honor of the chairman of its board of trustees and his wife, who gave an unrestricted $200 million gift to the 873-bed hospital. The gift is the largest in the medical centers history and has already inspired additional gifts totaling $50 million, NYU officials said. Kenneth Langone is a co-founder of Home Depot, a former director of the New York Stock Exchange and founder of the brokerage and investment banking firm Invemed Associates. He has been chairman of the medical centers board of trustees since 1999. The gift will support NYUs plans for a major campus transformation, including a series of initiatives to expand its presence on Manhattans East Side. The centerpiece of the multiyear transformation will be a new hospital. The gift is being given in a very open-ended way to enable us to realize our dreams of innovation and excellence a powerful endorsement and a catalyst for our efforts to ensure that our medical center takes its rightful place as one of the very top institutions of its kind in the world, said Robert Grossman, NYU Langones dean and chief executive officer, in a news release.
TRENTON, N.J.More than 2,000 hospital employees, patients and sympathetic groups, including senior citizens, physicians, unions and nurses, rallied at the New Jersey Statehouse last week seeking restoration of funding cuts to hospitals and nursing homes. Supporters toted signs reading Some cuts never heal and Imagine a day without us in their effort to reinstate $143 million in charity-care cuts proposed in the states 2009 budget. New Jersey Hospital Association officials noted that 30% of the states hospitals22 facilitiesclosed in the past 15 years, six of them in the past 18 months alone. State health officials have acknowledged that an estimated six hospitals will likely close if the hospital cuts are approved, they added. Half of the 76 hospitals in the state are already losing money, according to the association. Meanwhile, those hospitals will provide approximately $1.3 billion in charity-care services, receiving reimbursement for just $573 million, also according to the association. Gov. Jon Corzines spending plan also calls for a total of $90 million in state and federal cuts to nursing homes, association officials said.
GREENSBURG, Pa.Conemaugh Health System, Johnstown, Pa., and Excela Health, Greensburg, formed a new durable medical equipment company called MedCare Equipment Co. The new for-profit company consolidates their two former companies, Conemaughs Home Medical Equipment and Excelas MedCare Equipment Co. MedCare began operating on May 1 and provides medical equipment, supplies and respiratory-care products for use in homes, skilled-nursing facilities, physician offices and other health organizations, and also sells through retail outlets. John Sphon, vice president of Excela Health Diversified Services, serves as chief executive officer. The company covers a
12-county area and employs 69 people in four locations.
JEANNETTE, Pa.Excela Health, Greensburg, Pa., completed its purchase of 138-bed Mercy Jeannette (Pa.) Hospital. With the purchase, Mercy Jeannette has been renamed Excela Health Westmoreland Hospital at Jeannette, becoming an extension of 249-bed Excela Westmoreland Regional Hospital in Greensburg. Over the next five years, Excela has committed $10 million to the healthcare needs of the Jeannette community and has also promised to honor the Catholic ethical and religious directives for healthcare services at the Jeannette campus. Mercy Jeannette had been facing a $6.5 million loss from operations in November 2007 when Excela announced the deal to acquire it from Catholic Health East, Pittsburgh Mercy Health System and the Sisters of Charity of Seton Hill.
PROVIDENCE, R.I.Rhode Island lawmakers appointed a commission to study whether the states Health Services Council is properly implementing a law that requires hospitals to obtain a certificate of need before purchasing high-cost medical equipment, according to a state-issued news release. The commission will report its findings along with any recommended changes to the CON process to state lawmakers by May 15, 2009. The CON law was created to help control the states healthcare costs by preventing unnecessary duplication of services. As other states begin to examine their existing certificate-of-need laws, we in Rhode Island also need to take a look at our process and make sure its what works best for our state, said state Rep. Eileen Naughton, who sponsored the commission-appointment resolution.
HARRISBURG, Pa.The statewide total margin for 170 hospitals in Pennsylvania grew to 6.51% in fiscal 2007 from 5.39% in 2006, but uncompensated care also grew 12.2% during the same periodto $678 million from $604 million, according to the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council. Uncompensated care as a percentage of net patient revenue increased to 2.27% from 2.17%. Of the total, 24%41 hospitalsposted negative total margins in 2007, the same number as in 2006. However, the number of hospitals with negative operating margins declined to 52 in 2007 from 61 in 2006. Officials emphasized that a disproportionate share of hospitals with operating losses were small community hospitals in rural areas. As in 2006, the total margin improvement resulted from improvements in both operating and nonoperating income, officials said. In response to the report, the Hospital & Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania said in a news release that the deepening economic downturn and the continued rise in uncompensated care is a real concern. Nonoperating sources of funding, which many hospitals rely upon to maintain a positive bottom line, can be unpredictable. Right now they are unreliable, the association said.