Starting in June, FHP patients will be sent to St. Mark's Hospital instead of Holy Cross Hospital.
That announcement comes after the health maintenance organization sent 16 years' worth of patients to Holy Cross. FHP, with 128,000 members in Utah, plans to build its own 120-bed hospital in South Salt Lake by early 1993."We are always seeking ways to control the spiraling cost of health care," said Elden R. Mitchell, FHP regional vice president. He said one of the best ways is to negotiate favorable agreements with hospitals.
A Holy Cross executive said he was surprised by the announcement that they were losing FHP's business, after lengthy negotiations with the company.
"As recently as last week, we were led to believe that the signing of an agreement was imminent," said Daniel J. Wolterman, chief executive officer for Holy Cross. "We're going to explore all types of remedies that may be available to us as a result of the very short notification here."
The hospital will see the impact in the balance books. Wolterman termed the move an inconvenience to the institution, and said the hospital is forced to make short-term cuts in operating expenses to make up for losing the volume of patients.
Wolterman contends FHP patients will feel the impact, too. They'll have to change hospitals twice in the next 18 months, now to St. Mark's, then to the new FHP facility.
Wolterman said Holy Cross provided a substantial volume discount to FHP, at the expense of the hospital's long-term interest, "out of concern for the continuity of care provided to FHP patients." Sometimes discounts reached the 40 percent range.
"The loss of net patient revenue will amount to approximately 8.3 percent throughout the Holy Cross system statewide," he said.