TOPEKA, Kan.—Kansas hospitals employed more than 68,000 people in 2009, or about 3.8% of the state’s employment, with a total payroll of about $3.8 billion, according to an economic report released by the Kansas Hospital Association. Hospitals also generated $132 million in sales tax, according to the report, compiled by researchers from the Office of Local Government of Kansas State University Research and Extension. Broadly defined, healthcare employed more than 200,000 Kansans in 2009, or 10.8% of the workforce.
Regionals: Kansas hospitals employed more than 68,000 in 2009 and more news ...
CINCINNATI—Christ Hospital and its former parent, the Health Alliance of Greater Cincinnati, reached a tentative agreement with the U.S. Justice Department that would resolve allegations that the hospital assigned panel time on its cardiac diagnostic unit to the most lucrative physicians. The settlement terms have not been disclosed. An order to dismiss the case as long as the settlement is finalized was entered in U.S. District Court in Cincinnati. The government formally joined the case in 2008, intervening in a whistle-blower lawsuit brought by a cardiologist formerly on staff at the 513-bed hospital. The lawsuit alleged that the hospital, as a matter of policy, assigned panel time as a reward to cardiologists whose procedures earned the most revenue for the hospital. The panel time, according to the lawsuit, was a form of kickback because it granted physicians opportunities to pick up new patients. “We cannot comment on any terms of the settlement because the parties are currently finalizing the written agreement; however, this settlement allows the hospital to avoid the risk of the multibillion-dollar award sought by the government,” according to a written statement from Christ Hospital.
SALEM, Ind.—A subsidiary system of Ascension Health has received a federal judge’s permission to buy the assets of a bankrupt 35-bed hospital for $3.5 million and continue to employ most of the staff there. Washington County Memorial Hospital—a publicly owned stand-alone hospital, which used to be a 25-bed critical-access hospital in Salem—filed for bankruptcy last June, several years after its administrators decided to end a previous affiliation with Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s HealthCare, Louisville, Ky., according to court records. The hospital started shopping around for affiliation partners again in 2007, including discussions with Ascension’s St. Vincent Health, which owns 25-bed St. Vincent Jennings Hospital, a critical-access hospital in North Vernon, Ind. St. Vincent agreed to the asset purchase only if the hospital’s title were offered free and clear through bankruptcy, court records say. Under the agreement approved by the bankruptcy judge last month, St. Vincent is buying the right to lease the hospital and several clinics for $500,000 per year, with the option to purchase the property for $3.5 million less any rents paid.
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