HARTFORD, Conn.—The University of Connecticut Health Center would expand and renovate its John Dempsey Hospital under a proposed network between the academic medical center and other Connecticut hospitals and health systems. The $352 million proposal—of which just $25 million has been financed—would add a $236 million patient tower at the John Dempsey Hospital, Farmington, Conn., and another $96 million in further renovations to the 155-bed hospital. The remaining $20 million would finance other network projects, including a simulation center at Hartford Healthcare's flagship 551-bed Hartford Hospital. The 114-bed Connecticut Children's Medical Center, Hartford, would manage the University's neonatal intensive-care unit under the network. The 620-bed St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center, also in Hartford, would become the site of a primary-care institute to target chronic disease management. Connecticut Gov. Jodi Rell said the state would seek approval to issue $227 million in bonds and has lobbied for $100 million in federal funds for the project. The stalled Senate health reform bill includes a $100 million appropriation for construction at an academic medical center at a public university. Rell, who said the network would improve public health, repeatedly emphasized jobs expected to be created by the project. “Money, grants, jobs,” she said. “That's what it comes down to.”
Regionals: Rhode Island hospitals boost economy and more news ...
CRANSTON, R.I.—Rhode Island hospitals had a $5.9 billion effect on the state's economy in 2007 and helped create roughly 34,000 jobs, according to The Economic Impact of Hospitals in Rhode Island, a new report out from the Hospital Association of Rhode Island. The report found hospitals spent more than $1 billion in 2007 on supplies and services and that spending in turn generated $2.2 billion in financial activity statewide. Rhode Island hospitals also were responsible for paying nearly $1.6 billion in wages and employing about 20,400 workers. Hospitals accounted for nearly 10% of private-sector employment in the state, according to the HARI report. The Rhode Island association said that hospitals in Rhode Island spent nearly $200 million on advances in patient care techniques and technology, which in turn generated more than $400 million and 13,560 jobs across all industries for the local economy. Because of their impact, HARI urged state lawmakers to recognize that hospitals are “instrumental to a healthy, strong and desirable Rhode Island.”
EDISON, N.J.—Amerigroup Corp., Virginia Beach, Va., completed a deal to acquire certain assets of Centene Corp.'s subsidiary University Health Plans, a New Jersey Medicaid insurer. Financial terms of the deal, which will boost Amerigroup's New Jersey membership to 156,000, were not disclosed. Publicly traded Amerigroup said in regulatory filings it had 118,000 members in the New Jersey area at the end of last December and ranked as the area's third-largest Medicaid health plan. The transaction suffered a rocky start in late 2008, when Amerigroup said it would exit the deal citing a material change in University Health Plans' business operations roughly six weeks after it was announced. Centene Corp., based in St. Louis, sued in January 2009 to uphold the deal. The companies reached a confidential settlement in October 2009 and agreed to a modified deal.
BUTLER, Pa.—Butler Memorial Hospital became the latest Pennsylvania hospital operator to take a stake in MedCare Equipment Co., a home health equipment company jointly owned by Excela Health, Conemaugh Health System and Heritage Valley Health System. Excela, a four-hospital system based in Greenburg, Pa., and four-hospital Conemaugh Health System, Johnstown, Pa., launched MedCare in 2008. The company, which operates retail stores and supplies nursing homes, physician offices and other healthcare providers, is expected to expand to Butler this year. Robin Jennings, an Excela Health spokeswoman, declined to break down the partners' ownership in the company, but each holds equal representation on the company's governing board, she said.
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