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Aspen Surgical sold for $400M

Written by | Tuesday, 04 September 2012 11:07 |

Privately held Aspen Surgical, a Caledonia, Mich.-based supplier of scalpels and other operating room equipment, has been sold to publicly traded Hill-Rom Holdings Inc. for $400 million in cash.

Porter Hills Retirement Communities & Services launched a new service that follows an emerging care model to help older adults remain in their homes as they age, rather than move to a retirement community, an assisted-living center or nursing home.

Perrigo’s growth aided by new products

Written by | Monday, 03 September 2012 21:20 |

Heavy investments made over the years in new product development drove Perrigo Co.’s record sales and earnings during the last year.

When Steve Marciniak worked as a retail pharmacist several years ago, he needed to clarify or ask questions about one out of every 10 prescriptions he received.

The use of health savings accounts picked up steam locally and nationally during the last two years as employers increasingly transitioned to high-deductible policies for employee health coverage to control costs.

The life sciences industry took its share of knocks over the past few years, but it also had a few bright spots.

A state insurance commissioner's order on so-called "most favored nation" clauses far from settles the issue in Michigan. The order prohibits the clauses in health insurers' contracts with hospitals unless reviewed and approved by his office.

Even if the federal Affordable Care Act does result in more than 30 million people gaining access to health coverage, experts say there's no guarantee they'll actually get to see a doctor or other care provider when they want.

GRAND RAPIDS — Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital's planned $51.3 million expansion and renovation project represents the largest health care construction project in West Michigan in some time.

Construction overall in the region, as with much of the nation, still remains soft following the recession, and health care projects the last few years have primarily involved small developments such as nursing homes and medical office buildings.

Deadlines near for doctors to go digital

Written by | Saturday, 21 July 2012 23:38 |

GRAND RAPIDS — Lost in the buzz generated earlier this month by the Supreme Court upholding the Patient Protection and Affordability Care Act was a related aspect of health care reform signed in 2009 that encourages hospitals and physicians getting reimbursed for Medicare and Medicaid to digitize their health records by 2015. 

Come 2015, the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (Hitech) Act adds teeth to its requirements and begins to reduce Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements for those hospitals and physicians that have not switched from paper to electronic records.

WYOMING — A new chief medical officer signs on with Metro Health as health care providers adjust to perhaps the largest period of change ever seen. 

Dave Duffey, MD, joined the Wyoming, Mich.-based Metro Health in July from Spectrum Health, where he worked for nearly eight years, most recently as director of the pediatric hospitalist program and director of safety, quality and clinical innovation at the Spectrum Health Medical Group.

Snyder unveils wellness plan

Written by | Sunday, 01 July 2012 14:22 |

WEST MICHIGAN — A state initiative to improve nutrition for young children and their physical fitness launches a broader effort by Gov. Rick Snyder to reduce Michigan's burgeoning obesity rate that costs billions annually in medical claims and drives up health premiums.

Introduced this month, the Michigan Health and Wellness 4 by 4 Plan relies largely on education and public awareness to further the governor's message of health and wellness, which comes at a time when nearly one-third of the state's residents are obese.

KALAMAZOO — What started as a simple inquiry to clients on how they communicate their workplace wellness program to employees turned into a larger project for Shawn Connors over the last year. 

The result is an eBook from Connors, president of the Kalamazoo health care communications company Hope Health. The eBook offers five "concrete" steps for employers on how to get their work force involved in living healthier.

Area hospitals plagued by rising costs

Written by | Saturday, 09 June 2012 00:00 |

WEST MICHIGAN — Bad debt and uncompensated care at hospitals across Michigan moved higher during the recession, a cost that eventually creeps into the premiums employers pay for health coverage.

The Michigan Health and Hospital Association's annual community benefits report shows bad debt across the state totaled $609.7 million for the 2010 fiscal year, the most recent year for which data were analyzed. The total represents an increase of $54 million from the prior year.

MFB grows state network

Written by | Friday, 08 June 2012 23:17 |

WEST MICHIGAN — The latest addition to Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital's statewide care network may very well transition into an acquisition and potentially lead to further expansion in the region.

Under a letter of intent between the two, Mary Free Bed can acquire a controlling stake in the Southwest Regional Rehabilitation Center in Battle Creek at any time. At this point, Mary Free Bed is proceeding with the notion that an acquisition will eventually occur, CEO Kent Riddle said.

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