ARLINGTON, TEXASRehabilitation provider HealthSouth Corp., Birmingham, Ala., has completed its previously announced purchase of a 30-bed rehabilitation unit at the Medical Center of Arlington in Texas. Formerly owned by Columbia Medical Center of Arlington Subsidiary, the unit will relocate to the 65-bed HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital of Arlington. HealthSouth did not disclose financial terms of the deal.
BREVARD, N.C.Transylvania Community Hospital, Brevard, said that it has been awarded a three-year, $540,000 grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration, which is part of HHS. The grant will go toward the 44-bed hospitals implementation of electronic health records at community physician practices.
BALTIMOREMarylands insurance commissioner last month cut in half the severance pay of CareFirsts former president and chief executive officer, William Jews, to nearly $9 million, saying that under Jews leadership the health insurer strayed significantly from its nonprofit mission. Jews served at the helm of CareFirst, a Blue Cross and Blue Shield company, for 13 years. In 2003, he led a failed attempt to convert CareFirst to for-profit status and sell it to WellPoint. CareFirsts board terminated him after expressing concerns about his performance, according to Maryland Insurance Commissioner Ralph Tyler and Jews testimony. His severance agreement totaled nearly $18 million, which violates a state law enacted in 2003 that limits executive compensation at CareFirst to fair and reasonable sums, Tyler said in his 65-page order, in which he faulted the Washington-based insurers governing board for lack of oversight. He noted that Jews received more than $16.5 million in the last six years he was with the insurer, plus another $1.6 million in deferred payments. Since his termination, Jews has netted more than $2.2 million in continued base salary and other payments, Tyler said. The decision came after hearings held this spring on the matter. CareFirst, with 3.1 million members in the Mid-Atlantic region, said in a written statement that it is reviewing the order to determine what if any other action we may take regarding this matter. Insurers in general have been faced with increased scrutiny from regulators (July 14, p. 6).
RALEIGH, N.C.WakeMed Health & Hospitals said it intends to file a certificate of need by Aug. 15 seeking 41 beds to develop a womens hospital at its WakeMed North Healthplex. WakeMed expects the project to cost $34 million and, if it is approved and there are no appeals, to be completed in 2010. CON regulators have already approved shifting 20 beds from WakeMeds main campus to the healthplex, which opened in 2002 and added North Carolinas first free-standing emergency department in 2005. WakeMed also said that it added 42 new beds to its WakeMed Cary (N.C.) Hospital, giving it 156 acute-care beds. The$45 million project also included 40 new beds to replace beds elsewhere in the hospital. WakeMed also is adding 10 new labor and delivery beds in a separate project at WakeMed Cary that is expected to be completed in January 2009.
SILVER SPRING, Md.Holy Cross Hospital said it expects to build a new hospital on the Germantown campus of Montgomery College by the end of 2012, pending a state regulatory process. It also plans to add two primary-care centers that would cater to the uninsured and underinsured. The plan comes as the states wealthiestand one of its fastest growingcounties braces for an influx of seniors over the next decade, said Kevin Sexton, president and chief executive officer of 411-bed Holy Cross. Studies show that 45% of Montgomery Countys growth over the next 10 years will come from people over 65. Preliminary plans call for about a 100-bed hospital to be built on a little more than 20 acres on the college campus, moving Holy Cross closer to a quarter of its patient base while also allowing it to partner with the school for staff development and research, Sexton said. The ability to do this on the campus is absolutely, incredibly exciting, he said. Its where were going to get a diverse workforce from. The two clinics, slated for Gaithersburg and Wheaton, are expected to help ease emergency department overcrowding by catering to patients who typically use the department as a de facto primary-care site. Over recent years, Montgomery County, Md., primarily a suburb of Washington, has seen a rise in the number of uninsuredespecially as its immigrant population has grown.
WEST LOUDOUN COUNTY, Va.HealthSouth Corp., Birmingham, Ala., said it has been granted a certificate of need from the Virginia Health Department to build a 40-bed, free-standing inpatient rehabilitation hospital in West Loudoun County. Groundbreaking is expected in November for the hospital, which will employ about 200 people and cost about $15.5 million for the total project. HealthSouth Chief Executive Officer Jay Grinney said in a news release that the new hospital in Northern Virginia will add to the companys existing network of hospitals and clinics in Charlottesville, Fredericksburg, Petersburg and Richmond. The company operates inpatient rehabilitation hospitals, long-term-care hospitals, outpatient rehabilitation satellite facilities and home health agencies in 26 states as well as Puerto Rico.