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• Scan(Long Beach, CA) has elected Thomas Higgins, a corporate vice president at Edison International, chairman of the board. Higgins has been a member of the board since 1996. He succeeds Russ Hill, who is stepping down after serving the maximum term.
•Foundation Health Systems (FHS; Los Angeles) has reached a definitive agreement to sell its two hospitals to Healthplus+ Corp. (Houston). The purchase price was not disclosed. The two hospitals are the 180-bed Memorial Hospital of Gardena (Gardena, CA) and the 127-bed East Los Angeles Doctors Hospital (Los Angeles). FHS’ Health Net and Vitalcare subsidiaries will maintain contractual arrangements with the hospitals following completion of the sale. The sale of the hospitals, said Jay Gellert, president/CEO of FHS, is "another important step forward in our strategic plan to focus on core health plan, specialty, and government operations."
•United Healthcare’s North Carolina office (UHNC) has launched an independent appeal process in which patients can take healthcare grievances to a panel of doctors. United officials said the initiative comes partly in response to calls for legislation mandating independent reviews and permitting patients to sue health maintenance and other types of managed care companies for malpractice, reported the Associated Press. But UHNC, which insures 300,000 people in the state, insists it only wants to ensure that patients get appropriate medical care.