NORTH­EAST

Modern Healthcare - - Regional News -

SYRA­CUSE, N.Y.— Up­state Univer­sity Hos­pi­tal closed on its ac­qui­si­tion of Com­mu­nity Gen­eral Hos­pi­tal, which now will op­er­ate as a sec­ond cam­pus of Up­state. The deal was struc­tured as an as­set-li­a­bil­ity swap and no money ex­changed hands, said Dr. John McCabe, CEO of 396-bed Up­state Univer­sity Hos­pi­tal and se­nior vice pres­i­dent of hos­pi­tal af­fairs for Up­state Med­i­cal Univer­sity. Tom Quinn, pres­i­dent and CEO of 192-bed Com­mu­nity Gen­eral, is re­tir­ing and will work on spe­cial projects for Up­state, McCabe said. Mered­ith Price, who was chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer for Up­state’s Col­lege of Medicine, was named chief ad­min­is­tra­tive of­fi­cer of Com­mu­nity Gen­eral, which is now called Up­state Univer­sity Hos­pi­tal at Com­mu­nity Gen­eral. The com­bined op­er­a­tion will have about 630 staffed beds, McCabe said.

BEV­ERLY, Mass.— North­east Health Sys­tem and the La­hey Clinic, Burling­ton, Mass., plan to form a new in­te­grated de­liv­ery sys­tem in north­east­ern Mas­sachusetts called the La­hey Health Sys­tem. There is no fi­nan­cial trans­ac­tion in­volved in the merger, said Ken Hanover, pres­i­dent and CEO of North­east Health Sys­tem. La­hey Health Sys­tem will be led by a board with an equal num­ber of mem­bers from the two or­ga­ni­za­tions as well as mem­bers who are cur­rently not af­fil­i­ated with ei­ther or­ga­ni­za­tion. “There were lots of op­por­tu­ni­ties for the two or­ga­ni­za­tions to bet­ter serve our re­spec­tive com­mu­ni­ties by com­ing to­gether,” Hanover said. North­east Health and La­hey have al­ready shared clin­i­cal af­fil­i­a­tions for sev­eral years. The La­hey Clinic, which owns a 327-bed teach­ing hos­pi­tal af­fil­i­ated with the Tufts Univer­sity School of Medicine, re­ported $90 mil­lion in rev­enue in 2010, ac­cord­ing to Hanover. North­east Health Sys­tem, a net­work pri­mar­ily com­posed of 321-bed Bev­erly Hos­pi­tal (which in­cludes Ad­di­son Gil­bert Hos­pi­tal in Glouces­ter, Mass.), had $46 mil­lion in rev­enue last year. The new board will have full gov­er­nance and fi­nan­cial au­thor­ity over the sys­tem, Hanover said. Dr. Howard Grant, pres­i­dent and CEO of the La­hey Health Sys­tem, will re­tain his role as pres­i­dent and CEO of the La­hey Clinic. The two or­ga­ni­za­tions will de­velop a de­fin­i­tive agree­ment in the next 90 days, and state and na­tional reg­u­la­tory ap­provals are ex­pected by the end of the year.

MONT­PE­LIER, Vt.— Ver­mont Gov. Peter Shum­lin named Mark Lar­son, a law­maker in the Ver­mont House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives, as the new com­mis­sioner of the Depart­ment of Ver­mont Health Ac­cess. Lar­son, 41, will re­place Su­san Be­sio, who has re­tired, ac­cord­ing to a spokesper­son for Shum­lin. In his new role, Lar­son will over­see the state’s pub­licly funded health in­surance pro­grams and also will be in­volved with the de­vel­op­ment of the Ver­mont Health Ben­e­fits Ex­change and Green Moun­tain Care, the pub­licly funded sin­gle­payer sys­tem that was signed into law this year. Lar­son joined the Ver­mont House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives in 2000 and served as chair of the House Health Care Com­mit­tee, vice chair­man of the House Ap­pro­pri­a­tions Com­mit­tee and co-chair of the Ver­mont Com­mis­sion on Health Care Re­form. He is ex­pected to start Aug. 17.

PITTS­BURGH— High­mark, the Pitts­burgh-based in­surer with plans to ac­quire a strug­gling health sys­tem, went to court to stop ad­ver­tis­ing by the city’s larger, stronger hos­pi­tal op­er­a­tor. High­mark asked the U.S. District Court in Pitts­burgh to halt the Univer­sity of Pitts­burgh Med­i­cal Cen­ter’s “Keep Your Doc­tor. Check Your Plan” ad cam­paign, which the com­plaint al­leges vi­o­lates fed­eral law and con­tracts ne­go­ti­ated be­tween High­mark and UPMC. The law­suit con­tends UPMC launched the cam­paign to pun­ish High­mark for its $475 mil­lion deal to ac­quire fal­ter­ing West Penn Al­legheny Health Sys­tem (July 4, p. 6), and that the cam­paign falsely sug­gests High­mark mem­bers would pay more and face new ac­cess hur­dles at UPMC once con­tracts ex­pire on June 30, 2012. Con­tract clauses, known as runoffs, re­quire UPMC to honor ne­go­ti­ated rates for the ter­mi­nated con­tracts for an­other year, High­mark said. UPMC spokesman Paul Wood re­sponded in an e-mail that the law­suit “while mer­it­less, drives home the point that its cur­rent con­tracts with UPMC will ex­pire on June 30, 2012, and that there will not be a new con­tract.” Wood added that UPMC “strongly dis­agrees” with High­mark’s in­ter­pre­ta­tion of the runoff pro­vi­sions and “looks for­ward to pre­sent­ing the court and the pub­lic with the ac­tual con­tract lan­guage.”

McCabe, shown at a news con­fer­ence an­nounc­ing the clos­ing of the deal, says the deal was struc­tured as an as­set-li­a­bil­ity swap and no money ex­changed hands.

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