Contracting News November 2010

Via Christi names leadership for Wichita hospitals
Via Christi (Wichita, Kan.) announced a new leadership structure for its Wichita hospitals, expanding largely upon leadership already in place. The positions took effect Oct. 1, 2010. Randy Peterson, SVP for Via Christi Hospitals, is concurrent interim president of Via Christi Hospital on Saint Francis (Wichita, KS) while an internal and external search is under way. Laurie Labarca is now COO for the same hospital, assisting Peterson with administration, designated service lines and ancillary services. In addition, the following are in place (not all are changes):

  • Claudio Ferraro was named president, Via Christi Hospital (Wichita, Kan.). Cindy LaFleur is president, post-acute care.
  • Kevin Strecker was named president, Via Christi Hospital on Saint Teresa (Wichita, Kan.).
  • Jim Barber is president, Via Christi Foundation (Wichita, Kan.).
  • Mike Wegner is CFO.
  • Lori Grubs is VP human resources.
  • Art Huber is VP facilities.
  • Sister Sherri Marie Kuhn is senior VP mission.
  • Hewitt Goodpasture, MD, is interim CMO.
  • Cindy Standlee is interim chief nursing officer.

Columbia Saint Mary opens new $417 million hospital, closes two others
Columbia Saint Mary’s Health System (Milwaukee, Wis.) opened its new $417 million, nine-story hospital on Oct. 12, 2010. The new Columbia Saint Mary’s Hospital, at 2301 N Lake Drive in Milwaukee, consolidates the former Columbia and Saint Mary’s hospitals, and is expected to save the system $19 million in operating costs annually. The new, state-of-the-art hospital has 312 beds and houses three specialty institutes – The McKeithan Testing & Treatment Institute, the Orthopaedic and Neuroscience Institute, and the Heart and Vascular Institute – which consolidate interdisciplinary care around certain conditions for the convenience of patients. The health system transferred patients from the former Columbia Hospital at 2025 E Newport Ave, and the emergency department at the former Columbia Hospital closed.

More than 67% of medical practices likely to limit new Medicare patients
Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) (Englewood, Colo.) recently released research that found 67.2 percent of medical practices are likely to limit the number of new Medicare patients they accept unless Congress halts upcoming Medicare reimbursement cuts. The potential reduction in beneficiary access comes as a result of a pending 23.6 percent cut to Medicare physician payment on Dec. 1, 2010, followed by an additional 6.5 percent reduction on Jan. 1, 2011. Physician practices are also considering other steps to address decreased reimbursement. 76.6 percent will likely delay the purchase of new clinical equipment and/or facilities; 60.5 percent will likely reduce the number of administrative support staff; 54.0 percent will likely reduce clinical staff; and 45.3 percent will likely delay purchase of electronic health record systems.

CDC predicts 1 in 3 Americans could have diabetes by 2050
A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (Atlanta, Ga.) study reports that the number of Americans with diabetes is projected to double or triple by 2050, which means that as many as 1 in 3 adults in the U.S. could have diabetes by 2050 if current trends continue. The increase is attributed to an older, more diverse population and longer lifespans. Currently, 1 in 10 adults in the U.S. has diabetes. For information about diabetes visit

Nominations open for 2011 IDN Summit Supply Chain Excellence Awards
The 2011 IDN Summit Supply Chain Excellence awards program is underway, with the online application now live at Healthcare organizations can apply for the program through December 3, 2010. The program highlights healthcare providers’ innovative efforts to achieve critical supply chain efficiencies. This year the awards will honor a National Peer Award winner in each of three categories: Innovation, Efficiency (return on investment) and Replication (ease of incorporating into other health systems’ operations), as well as an overall National Award Winner of Excellence. Winners receive recognition among their peers and in the trade press and local media, and supply chain stakeholders have a unique learning opportunity based on nominees’ successes. The IDN Summit Advisory Board will select 15 leading nominees. From Dec. 15, 2010 to Feb. 4, 2011, healthcare executives will cast online ballots that will determine the four Peer Award winners, announced Feb. 8, 2011. Those organizations will make presentations and compete at the 2011 Spring IDN Summit March 21-23, 2011 in Orlando, Fla., where the health system executives in attendance will vote to determine who takes home the National Award Winner of Excellence.

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