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ARCHIVED  May 1, 1997

Marini’s firing could revive Western Plains, HSM talks

Ousted Poudre Valley CEO had halted talks on equity sale

FORT COLLINS – During his brief term as president and CEO of Poudre Valley Health System, Mike Marini terminated negotiations between Health Systems Management and Western Plains Health Network, which would have given Western Plains an equity share in the management company.

HSM is a for-profit management company formed to manage health-care delivery systems and related organizations. Poudre Valley Health Care Inc., the management company for Poudre Valley Hospital, is the controlling interest in the company, with 83 percent ownership, and HSI Health Plans Inc. owns the remaining 17 percent. But Marini’s departure raises the possibility that negotiations between HSM and Western Plains could resume.

Incorporated in 1995, the for-profit management company contracts with HSI and self-funded employers to administer and manage their health-care plans. Poudre Valley Health Care could work with HSM in the same capacity if they were to offer one or more health plans. And HSM could do the same for Western Plains Health Network.

Gene Haffner, spokesman for Western Plains affiliate North Colorado Medical Center in Greeley, said that while the network is always looking for ways to better serve the community, it is not currently in discussions with HSM.

From HSM’s perspective, Chuck Mabry, CEO of HSI and HSM, said there is interest in working on the relationship.

“From the HSM side of things, we think the extent to which providers can work together will make us all better off. But with a new management group in place at PVH, practically speaking, it will take some time to figure out,” he said.

A shared equity position in HSM between Western Plains, PVH and HSI would at first only mean working together with a shared sense of commitment, Mabry said, but the potential to create a more meaningful partnership down the road would exist.

TRICARE up and running in Colo.

TRICARE, the managed-care program offered by the U.S. Department of Defense, is now operational in Colorado. Under the program, a variety of health plans are available to eligible dependents of active military and non-Medicare military retirees.

The congressionally authorized program allows the Department of Defense to bid on all care for its Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Uniformed Services under one contract. It offers members of CHAMPUS three types of coverage: an HMO with primary-care physicians and a limited network, a PPO within the network and a standard fee-for-service plan.

TRICARE has been implemented in regions 7 & 8, which extend from Missouri to Nevada and Canada to Texas. The bid for regional administration of the plan was awarded to TriWest Health Care Alliance, and HealthCare Colorado will handle the program statewide, which covers 136,000 members.

TriWest is comprised of Blue Cross Blue Shield affiliates except in the state of Colorado, explained Dennis Brimhall, president and CEO of University Hospital in Denver and director of HealthCare Colorado. So University Hospital asked to run the program with its own statewide network.

“HealthCare Colorado is a network of nine hospitals with equity positions and several others we contract with,” Brimhall said. “The hospitals in our network are independent facilities with strong ties to their communities and values and structures similar to ours.”

Poudre Valley Hospital in Fort Collins and North Colorado Medical Center in Greeley are affiliated with the group but not part of the nine that sit on the board. Brimhall said relationships with providers in Northern Colorado are crucial to the program, because 5,000 to 7,000 citizens eligible for TRICARE live in the region, and many TRICARE members at F.E. Warren Air Force Base in Cheyenne use Northern Colorado facilities as well.

Brimhall expects the network to expand and perhaps include physician hospital organizations. With a statewide network in place, he anticipates uses other than TRICARE.

“It’s the American way – build something for one purpose, and then see what else it can be used for.” he said.

Hospice will move to larger space

GREELEY – Hospice of Northern Colorado has purchased a building in downtown Greeley to accommodate its administrative staff. The 6,000- square-foot space that was formerly Pepe-O’Tooles restaurant and bar at 2726 11th St. is almost double the hospice’s existing space and substantially upgrades the parking situation, said Jane Schnell, hospice executive director.

“We had a bequest of a building from a patron in the Brighton area, and the sale of that building gave us the down payment for our new space,” Schnell said.

The hospice will relocate from leased space at 1403 10th Ave. in the first week of June. Schnell said that the space will be large enough to accommodate a large classroom, so the agency will be able to hold educational seminars inhouse.

JCAHO tests hospitals

FORT COLLINS – Poudre Valley Hospital has been awarded a renewed accreditation by the Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations.

The hospital scored a 95 out of a possible 100 points after a three-day examination of almost all the hospital’s operations by a JCAHO team.

Meanwhile, the staff at NCMC is busy gearing up for JCAHO’s visit to that facility. Spokesman Gene Haffner said a team will visit during May and return a preliminary evaluation at the end of the month. The official results are expected within two months.

Ousted Poudre Valley CEO had halted talks on equity sale

FORT COLLINS – During his brief term as president and CEO of Poudre Valley Health System, Mike Marini terminated negotiations between Health Systems Management and Western Plains Health Network, which would have given Western Plains an equity share in the management company.

HSM is a for-profit management company formed to manage health-care delivery systems and related organizations. Poudre Valley Health Care Inc., the management company for Poudre Valley Hospital, is the controlling interest in the company, with 83 percent ownership, and HSI Health Plans Inc. owns the remaining 17 percent. But Marini’s…

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