Managed Care Report

• Oxford Health Plan’s (Norwalk, CT) decision to lay off 500 employees, effective last Monday, brings its total employment to 5,000 and means the company is about 31% smaller than it was when it ran into computer and management problems in 1997, reported the Wall Street Journal. The company said the layoffs, representing about 10% of its work force, are part of its effort to reduce administrative costs as it tries to recover from the computer systems and management trouble that led to huge losses beginning in the second half of 1997, according to the Journal. The workers are based in Connecticut, Florida, New Hampshire, New Jersey, and New York.

• PacifiCare of California (Cypress, CA), the HMO subsidiary of PacifiCare Health Systems (Santa Ana, CA), released its latest report on medical group performance to help consumers make more informed decisions about choosing healthcare providers. The report, known as the Quality Index, was first issued in September 1998 and has since been expanded and improved based on feedback from consumers, members, providers, and purchasers. The Index now measures the performance of 187 medical groups and individual practice associations, representing more than 25,000 physicians who serve 83% of PacifiCare’s total membership in California.

• United Healthcare of New York has entered into a managed care agreement with Subacute Network (Lake Success, NY). The agreement will provide United Healthcare of New York’s members with access to medical and rehabilitation services, said Subacute CEO Richard Kaplan.

Dennis Chong has been named medical director for Cigna Healthcare’s Pacific Northwest region. Chong, who will be based in Seattle, will oversee the medical care delivery for Cigna’s managed care operations in Washington and Oregon.

Humana (Louisville, KY) has entered into partnerships with three medical organizations to operate six south Florida medical centers formerly operated by FPA Medical Management. The agreements are effective Sept. 1. Financial terms were not disclosed. Humana assumed operational responsibility for 50 former FPA centers nationwide on June 1 as part of an agreement with FPA, approved by the federal bankruptcy court overseeing FPA’s Chapter 11 reorganization. Since then, because of this and similar transactions, Humana no longer operates 21 of the 50 centers. The three south Florida provider groups that have entered into partnerships with Humana are Primary Care Associates, Dr. Olivia Graves, and South Florida Medical Centers.