Hospitals Seek To Consolidate In Ga., Wis. and N.Y.; Other State Hospital News
Hospitals in Atlanta, Wisconsin and New York are consolidating or partnering more closely with others in a bid to reduce costs and save themselves. In other hospital news, small California hospitals market back surgery to patients and a Minnesota hospital faces a "patient abuse" crisis.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Atlanta Medical Center, South Fulton Medical Center Seek Consolidation
Atlanta Medical Center and financially ailing South Fulton Medical Center announced Wednesday that they will seek state permission to consolidate the two hospitals. Both hospitals are owned by the Tenet Healthcare Corp. … Consolidations in Atlanta's hospital market are now common, as stand-alone facilities find it difficult to survive in today's health care marketplace (Teegardin, 2/8).
Modern Healthcare: Atlanta-Area Hospitals Seek Consolidation
A consolidation agreement may be on the horizon for two Atlanta-area hospitals. According to a joint news release, 403-bed Atlanta Medical Center and 180-bed South Fulton Medical Center, East Point, Ga., are in discussions with officials from the state's community health department "to determine the most viable option and to secure all necessary approvals" for such a deal (McKinney, 2/8).
Modern Healthcare: Ministry Health Buys Out Partner In Wis. System
Affinity Health System in Wisconsin's Fox Valley has converted from a jointly sponsored three-hospital system into an entity controlled by a single Roman Catholic hospital operator with the goal of becoming an accountable care organization. ... [Ministry Health Care President and CEO Nick] Desien said the move to sole-sponsorship of Affinity was motivated in part by changes included in the health reform law, including transitions to bundled payments and population-based health care, which favor efficiency and larger organizational structures (Carlson, 2/8).
Modern Healthcare: NuHealth Seeks To Downsize, Boost Affiliation With North Shore-LIJ
NuHealth System said it will seek $30 million and antitrust clearance from the state of New York to downsize its hospital and affiliate more closely with North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System.. .. NuHealth, which includes 481-bed Nassau University Medical Center in East Meadow, N.Y., has struggled with pension costs, Medicaid cuts, less support from local government and rates from managed care, according to a statement from the hospital (Evans, 2/8).
The Wall Street Journal: In Small California Hospitals, The Marketing Of Back Surgery
Tri-City Regional Medical Center [is] a hospital that has developed a thriving business doing back surgery on workers' compensation patients. It built up this business rapidly. For an operation known as spinal fusion, which joins two or more vertebrae, the small hospital billed workers' compensation insurers $65 million in 2010, up from less than $3 million three years earlier, state hospital discharge data show (Carreyrou, McGinty and Millman, 2/9).
Boston Globe: Mass. Releases Data On Hospital Infections
Massachusetts public health officials have called together patient safety leaders to determine why hospitals reported a high rate of surgical infections among women who received vaginal hysterectomies over the past two years... By providing data on "health care-associated infections" for each hospital in an easy-to-read format, Department of Public Health officials said they want to reach a new audience: consumers and policy makers. Past reports have been geared more to hospital leaders (Kotz, 2/9).
Minneapolis Star Tribune: Dayton Cites 'Crisis' At St. Peter Hospital
Gov. Mark Dayton said on Wednesday that "there is a crisis of patient abuse'' at the Minnesota Security Hospital in St. Peter, a hospital that has been battered in recent months by management turmoil, resignations of psychiatric staff and incidents of inhumane care. Concluding an unusual firsthand tour of the hospital's psychiatric wards, Dayton said he endorsed the controversial efforts adopted recently by administrators to end unchecked patient seclusion and restraint practices. During a two-hour visit, Dayton also met with about 300 employees, many of whom, he said, voiced confusion over the hospital's patient-care philosophy after years of mixing strict discipline with isolation in a prison-like setting (McEnroe, 2/8).
Houston Chronicle: Hospital Exec Charged In $116 Million Medicare Scam
An executive of Riverside General Hospital was arrested and charged Wednesday in a $116 million Medicare scheme involving kickbacks to patient recruiters and the owners of homes for the elderly and disabled in exchange for steering residents to Riverside's mental health clinics. Mohammad Khan, 63, is identified in the indictment as an administrator "who managed and controlled the day-to-day operations of the hospital's (clinics)," where he is accused of also plying supposed patients with cigarettes, food and coupons redeemable at the hospital's "country stores" in order to entice them to therapy. Khan, who began working for Riverside General Hospital in Houston's Third Ward, is known as "Dr. Khan" by his co-workers even though it appears he is not licensed to practice medicine in Texas (Langford, 2/8).
Minnesota Public Radio: Allina Name Change Reflects Focus On Patients' Health
Allina Hospitals and Clinics, one of Minnesota's major medical systems, is changing its name to represent a move toward keeping people healthy rather than just treating illnesses, according to officials. CEO Ken Paulus said the new name — Allina Health — is a major shift that's intended to challenge Allina's employees to think about patients' overall health (Stawicki, 2/8).