Modern Healthcare - - Regional News -

CHAPEL HILL, N.C.— UNC Health Care opened a 10-bed ex­pan­sion of the new­born crit­i­cal-care cen­ter within its North Carolina Chil­dren’s and Women’s Hos­pi­tal, which it­self is part of 738-bed Univer­sity of North Carolina Hos­pi­tals. All of the fa­cil­i­ties are in Chapel Hill. The crit­i­cal-care unit now ac­counts for 58 of the 150 beds in the chil­dren’s hos­pi­tal. Clin­i­cians and fam­i­lies whose new­borns had been pa­tients in the unit helped de­sign the new “pod” of 10 beds. Some of those fam­ily mem­bers now serve on a fam­ily ad­vi­sory board. Sev­eral fam­i­lies were on hand for a rib­bon-cut­ting cer­e­mony last month.

BAL­TI­MORE— A Mary­land car­di­ol­o­gist who was ac­cused of in­sert­ing med­i­cally un­nec­es­sary heart stents in pa­tients and then or­der­ing rounds of un­needed fol­low-up tests has been con­victed of fraud. A jury in U.S. District Court con­victed Dr. John McLean, 59, of Sal­is­bury, Md., of six counts of health­care fraud for billing Medi­care, Med­i­caid and pri­vate in­sur­ers for at least $700,000 in un­needed work, ac­cord­ing to a news re­lease from the U.S. at­tor­ney’s of­fice in Mary­land. “The ev­i­dence shows that Dr. McLean egre­giously vi­o­lated the trust of his pa­tients,” U.S. At­tor­ney Rod Rosen­stein said in the news re­lease. “We do not bring fed­eral pros­e­cu­tions based on dis­cre­tionary judg­ments that might be dis­puted by rea­son­able med­i­cal pro­fes­sion­als.” Pros­e­cu­tors told the ju­rors that McLean used his pri­vate-prac­tice of­fice and his priv­i­leges at 408-bed Penin­sula Re­gional Med­i­cal Cen­ter to per­form more than 100 car­diac catheter­i­za­tions be­tween 2003 and 2007, falsely record­ing ar­te­rial block­ages in pa­tients’ med­i­cal records to jus­tify the pro­ce­dures for billing pur­poses. Af­ter the surg­eries, McLean also or­dered bat­ter­ies of un­needed tests, in­clud­ing stress tests and echocar­dio­grams. A spokes­woman at Penin­sula Re­gional Med­i­cal Cen­ter said the hos­pi­tal had no com­ment about McLean’s con­vic­tion, and McLean’s at­tor­neys could not be reached. Pros­e­cu­tors say McLean faces up to 10 years in prison when he’s sen­tenced by U.S. District Judge Wil­liam Quar­les Jr. in Novem­ber. Gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials also will seek for­fei­ture of McLean’s prof­its from the surg­eries and pro­ce­dures.

SUP­PLY, N.C.— The re­place­ment hos­pi­tal for Brunswick Com­mu­nity Hos­pi­tal opened July 31, ac­cord­ing to a news re­lease. The 74-bed Brunswick No­vant Med­i­cal Cen­ter in­cludes five op­er­at­ing rooms and an en­doscopy pro­ce­dure room and will of­fer a range of di­ag­nos­tic imag­ing ser­vices, out­pa­tient ser­vices and a phar­macy. The pro­ject cost about $107 mil­lion. Nashville­based HCA sold Brunswick to its cur­rent par­ent com­pany, No­vant Health, Win­stonSalem, N.C., in 2005.

OR­LANDO, Fla.— IPC the Hos­pi­tal­ist Co. has ac­quired Coast to Coast Physi­cians Al­liance for an undis­closed sum. With the deal, the North Hol­ly­wood, Calif.-based hos­pi­tal­ist physi­cian group prac­tice will add about 26,000 pa­tient vis­its an­nu­ally. The deal also rep­re­sents IPC’s first foray into the Or­lando mar­ket. Dr. Jau­vid Ayadi,

Coast to Coast co-founder and part­ner, will con­tinue at IPC as prac­tice group leader. In an un­re­lated trans­ac­tion, IPC said it also has ac­quired the post-acute­care prac­tice of Dr. Ela­dio Dieguez, based in Ocala, Fla.

CHAR­LOTTE, N.C.— MedCath Corp. has com­pleted two pre­vi­ously an­nounced sales of its stakes in heart hos­pi­tals in Arkansas and New Mex­ico, ac­cord­ing to news re­leases. Ar­dent Health Ser­vices, Nashville, com­pleted its ac­qui­si­tion of a ma­jor­ity in­ter­est in Heart Hos­pi­tal of New Mex­ico from MedCath, ac­cord­ing to an Ar­dent news re­lease. MedCath owned a 74.8% stake in the 55-bed hos­pi­tal in Albuquerque, with physi­cian in­vestors own­ing the re­main­ing stake, ac­cord­ing to a MedCath se­cu­ri­ties fil­ing. The deal, an­nounced in May, val­ues the hos­pi­tal at $119 mil­lion. Ar­dent plans to com­bine the hos­pi­tal with its Lovelace Med­i­cal Cen­ter and re­name the fa­cil­ity Heart Hos­pi­tal of New Mex­ico at Lovelace Med­i­cal Cen­ter, ac­cord­ing to its re­lease. MedCath also com­pleted the sale of its 70.3% in­ter­est in 112-bed Arkansas Heart Hos­pi­tal, Lit­tle Rock, ac­cord­ing to a MedCath re­lease. The buyer is AR-MED, a lim­ited li­a­bil­ity com­pany ma­jor­ity-owned by Dr. Bruce Mur­phy, who al­ready owned a stake in the hos­pi­tal. The deal val­ued the hos­pi­tal at $73 mil­lion. MedCath is in the process of sell­ing its re­main­ing as­sets and dis­solv­ing the com­pany. Share­hold­ers ap­proved the liq­ui­da­tion plan, as well as these two deals, at their an­nual meet­ing last week, ac­cord­ing to a se­cu­ri­ties fil­ing. MedCath still owns stakes in four hos­pi­tals.

Fam­i­lies whose new­borns had been in the UNC crit­i­cal-care unit helped with the de­sign of the new cen­ter.

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