Contracting News

Catholic Health Initiatives to partner with Encore Health Resources
Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI) (Denver, CO) plans to partner with Encore Health Resources (Houston, TX) to create a comprehensive set of tools that will transform data generated by federally mandated EHRs into solutions to manage patient populations, quality, and costs. Encore will build and test a suite of electronic healthcare intelligence solutions that will provide CHI with information to analyze performance and quality and help manage patient populations. CHI will use the solutions suite to achieve the goals of its OneCare Program, a shared electronic, universal health record for each CHI patient. CHI will implement the OneCare EHR nationwide in more than 70 ambulatory and acute care facilities, 350 physician practices, and 11 oncology practices

National Quality Forum names five new board members
The National Quality Forum (NQF) (Washington, DC) elected five new members to its board of directors. The board, which guides NQF on strategic and policy issues, is composed of 31 voting members, including key public- and private- sector leaders who represent major stakeholders in America’s healthcare system. The new members include Jack Cochran, MD, FACS, executive director of The Permanente Federation (Oakland, CA); Joyce Dubow, senior health care reform director in AARP’s (Washington, DC) Office of the Executive Vice-President for Policy and Strategy; Bill Kramer, executive director for national health policy at the Pacific Business Group on Health (PBGH) (San Francisco, CA); Elizabeth Mitchell, CEO of Maine Health Management Coalition (Portland, ME); and Bruce Siegel, MD, MPH, president and CEO of the National Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems (NAPH) (Washington, DC).

BD-commissioned study finds ADEs associated with injectables cost $600K per hospital
A study commissioned by BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company) (Franklin Lakes, NJ) in partnership with Milliman Inc (Seattle, WA) and published by the peer-reviewed journal American Health & Drug Benefits found that preventable adverse drug events (ADEs) associated with injectable medications impact more than one million patient hospitalizations each year, and cause $2.7 billion to $5.1 billion in annual costs to U.S. healthcare payers. Those costs average $600,000 per hospital each year. BD stated, “New solutions to improve injectable medication processes are needed to minimize the burden on payers and reduce the risk for both the patient and the healthcare setting.” The study was compiled from databases that contained information on medication error, inpatient medication use, and medical costs. The study applied the findings of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (Washington, DC) study on adverse events, and it used MPL databases and insurance rate information.

Saint Mary’s Good Samaritan Regional Health Center Mount Vernon to open in January
The new $40 million, 25-bed Saint Mary’s Good Samaritan Regional Health Center Mount Vernon (Mount Vernon, IL) will open on January 20, 2013 as a replacement for the current facility in Mount Vernon. The new 80,000-sq-ft hospital features an expanded emergency department with a 64-slice CT scanner, full rehabilitation services, multiple surgical suites, all-private patient rooms, a chapel, a cafeteria and a new medical plaza, connected to the hospital on the fourth floor. Doctors will transition to the new medical center beginning in December 2012. Brasfield & Gorrie Healthcare (Birmingham, AL) served as the construction contractor for the project.

Geisinger Health System signs LOI to merge with Lewistown Hospital
Geisinger Health System (Danville, PA) signed a letter of intent to merge with Lewistown Hospital (Lewistown, PA). Geisinger agreed to keep the hospital and school of nursing open, provide employee and physician job security, and maintain existing insurance agreements. The planning process that would lead to a definitive agreement has a legal deadline of 90 days, but an extension is anticipated due to the holiday season. After the merger is completed, Geisinger plans to launch two projects at a minimum cost of $36 million to redesign and relocate the imaging department and construct a new emergency department.

KentuckyOne Health names Alexander as CFO
KentuckyOne Health (Louisville, KY) named Melvin Alexander as CFO, effective December 4, 2012. He replaces interim CFO Ron Farr, who left the position on November 16, 2012. During the transition period Susan Sciullo, assistant CFO, assumed interim leadership responsibilities for finance. Alexander most recently served as corporate VP of finance and treasury at SSM Health Care (St. Louis, MO), and has served in various finance roles since beginning his healthcare career in 1991.

Apria Healthcare names Figueroa CEO
Apria Healthcare Group (Lake Forest, CA) appointed John G. Figueroa as CEO and chairman of the board effective immediately. He replaces Norman C. Payson MD, who has announced his intention to retire from those positions. Payson will remain on Apria’s board and serve as a senior advisor to the company. Figueroa also assumed the position of CEO for Apri Coram Infusion Services (Denver, CO). Daniel Greenleaf, who has served as its CEO for the past eight months, is leaving the organization to pursue other opportunities. The change is effective immediately. Figueroa most recently served as CEO and board member of Omnicare Inc (Cincinnati, OH).