Contracting News

Ochsner Health System shuffles executives
Warner Thomas, former COO of Ochsner Health System (New Orleans, LA), was installed as the system’s new president and CEO on September 1, 2012. Thomas replaces Dr. Patrick Quinlan, who was selected as CEO of Ochsner Clinic Foundation and Ochsner International Services and executive director of the Center for Community Wellness and Health Policy. Michael Hulefeld was named EVP and COO of Ochsner. He formerly was CEO of Ochsner Medical Center New Orleans (New Orleans, LA) and New Orleans Region. Rob Wolterman, CEO of Ochsner’s New Orleans Community Hospitals, was name as CEO of Ochsner Medical Center.

Tenet Healthcare names Cancelmi as CFO
Tenet Healthcare Corp (Dallas, TX) appointed Daniel J. Cancelmi as CFO. Previously, Cancelmi served as the principal accounting officer of Tenet since 2007. Cancelmi reports to Trevor Fetter, Tenet’s president and CEO. He has held several finance positions involving increasingly broader responsibility for hospital financial operations, company-wide accounting practices and policies, SEC financial reporting and governmental reimbursement from Medicare and Medicaid programs.

Bon Secours Charity Health System, Saint Francis Hospital, Saint Luke’s Hospital System plan alliance
Bon Secours Charity Health System (Suffern, NY), Saint Francis Hospital (Poughkeepsie, NY), and Saint Luke’s Cornwall Hospital Health System (Newburgh, NY) plan to form an alliance to explore potential service collaborations and savings opportunities. Called Hudson Health Partners LLC (Newburgh, NY), the alliance will try to expand patients’ care options to include home health and wellness programs, increase physician recruitment, and support clinical quality and efficiency initiatives. The groups will make a formal announcement with additional details later in September 2012.

Ascension Health Ventures to acquire Marian Health, with 3 sub-IDNs and 36 hospitals
Ascension Health Alliance (St. Louis, MO) signed a memo of understanding to acquire Marian Health System (Tulsa, OK), with three regional divisions, 36 affiliated hospitals, and more than 150 clinics in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Oklahoma, and Kansas. The transaction, for which financial terms were not disclosed, is expected to close by the end of Q1 2013. Marian’s three divisions are Ministry Health Care (Milwaukee, WI), Saint John Health System (Tulsa, OK), and Via Christi (Wichita, KS), which is already affiliated with Ascension. Ascension’s rationale for the acquisition is that it is seeking to grow to be in better position to launch population health management strategies. Marian will switch sponsorships from the Sisters of the Sorrowful Mother to Ascension Health Ministries. Local leadership will not be changed.

AHRQ patient safety project reduces rate of central-line associated infections by 40%
A nationwide patient safety project funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) (Rockville, MD) reduced the rate of central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs) in intensive care units by 40 percent. The four-year project involved hospital teams at more than 1,100 adult ICUs in 44 states. Preliminary findings indicate that participating hospitals reduced the rate of CLABSIs nationally from 1.903 infections per 1,000 central line days to 1.137 infections per 1,000 line days. According to the AHRQ, the project prevented more than 2,000 CLABSIs, saving more than 500 lives and avoiding more than $34 million in healthcare costs. The AHRQ recently discussed these findings at its annual conference and introduced the Comprehensive Unit-based Safety Program (CUSP) toolkit that helped hospitals accomplish this reduction. Details about AHRQ’s national CUSP project are available at, and the CUSP toolkit is available at