Contracting News January/February 2006

Dimensions Healthcare asks government for $5M
Dimensions Healthcare Systems, of Cheverly, Md., told county and state officials that it may close its facilities, including Prince George’s Hospital Center, by March 30, 2006, due to continuous financial losses. The system is requesting that state and county officials once again provide financial assistance to keep the hospital open. Government officials have been seeking a new owner for the facility since authorizing a $50 million bailout to the hospital in 2004. The government blamed the financial troubles on mismanagement, while Dimensions claims that uncompensated care, increase in employee wages, and necessary facility investments were responsible for the financial shortfall. Dimensions lost more than $54 million from 1999 to 2004. Dimensions plans to close Gladys Spellman Specialty Hospital & Nursing Home of Cheverly, Maryland; Laurel Regional Hospital of Laurel, Maryland; and Bowie Health Center of Bowie, Maryland; if the company’s economic situation does not improve.

Amerinet contracts with Nellcor
St Louis-based Amerinet Inc. awarded Nellcor Inc., located in Pleasanton, Calif., a three-year agreement as a contracted supplier of pulse oximetry products to its 23,000 member hospitals and non-acute care facilities. Nellcor is part of Tyco Healthcare/Mallinckrodt.

B. Braun Medical, Curlin Medical extend infusion pump partnership
B. Braun Medical Inc. and Curlin Medical LLC renewed a three-year exclusive distribution agreement. The extension ensures continued national distribution, training and technical support for an array of infusion pumps. Curlin Medical Ambulatory Pumps are used in multiple medical applications including pain management delivery, nutritional, and antibiotic therapies. The pumps enable health- professionals to pre-set doses for patient self-administration.

WellPoint names new head for Central Region
Indianapolis-based WellPoint Inc. named Kathy Zorica as VP and general manager for the Central Region’s Under 65 Individual Market. She will oversee the financial performances, underwriting, sales, and retention and broker services for individual plans in Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri and Ohio. Zorica most recently served as general manager of consumer services for WellPoint’s health plan in Missouri. Zorica joined WellPoint in 1977.

LifePoint Hospitals change hands
LifePoint Hospitals Inc. of Brentwood, Tenn., returned 51-bed Palo Verde Hospital of Blythe, Calif., to the Hospital District of Palo Verde, effective Dec. 31, 2005. Also, LifePoint signed an asset purchase agreement to sell 96-bed Medical Center of Southern Indiana of Charlestown, Ind., to St. Catherine Healthcare LLC and 123-bed Ashland Regional Medical Center of Ashland, Penn., to St. Catherine Healthcare of Pennsylvania LLC. The sales are expected to close Q1 2006. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Novation Announces McComber’s promotion
Novation of Irving, Tex., the supply company of VHA Inc. of Irving, Tex., and Oakbrook, Ill.-based UHC promoted Larry McComber RPh to SVP of contract and program services. He will lead Novation’s pharmaceutical, capital equipment, laboratory, food and facility service teams, and Novation’s private label NOVAPLUS. McComber previously served as VP of pharmacy for VHA.

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