HealthLeaders-InterStudy, a leading provider of managed care industry intelligence, finds that El Paso, Texas' two major hospital systems, Sierra Providence Health Network, owned by Tenet, and Las Palmas-Del Sol Regional Healthcare System, owned by HCA, continue to compete vigorously in a market marked by low wages and a high uninsured rate. According to the latest issue of the El Paso Market Overview, very strong margins are being realized by hospitals serving El Paso's rapidly growing population of young families.

"El Paso hospitals must find ways of absorbing increasing uncompensated care costs that result from the high level of uninsured people in the region," said Patrick Powers, HealthLeaders-InterStudy senior analyst. "El Paso's uninsured rate is between 27 and 33 percent, one of the highest in Texas, which in turn has the highest uninsured rate among states."

Sierra Providence Health Network will start building a new hospital in 2006 in east El Paso, to compete in with Las Palmas-Del Sol in this area of fast-growing population. Sierra Providence is a for-profit network that accounts for 41 percent of El Paso's total hospital discharges and 46 percent of licensed inpatient beds. Las Palmas-Del Sol Regional Healthcare System is a for-profit provider network that accounts for 32 percent of the area's total hospital discharges and licensed inpatient beds. It has recently expanded its emergency facilities, and is planning for further growth.

  Other news about the El Paso healthcare market:   * El Paso physicians are moving into limited-service hospitals and surgery     centers because of lower reimbursements from both commercial and     Medicaid payors.   * Humana Health Plan of Texas will be increasing its presence in the El     Paso PPO and self-insured markets as part of its statewide expansion.   * The expansion of El Paso's two-year medical school to a four-year     program has been delayed until at least 2010.    About Market Overviews 

Market Overviews provides a detailed analysis of local healthcare markets, allowing healthcare businesses to plan their local strategies.

About HealthLeaders-InterStudy

HealthLeaders-InterStudy, a company of Decision Resources, Inc. (http://www.decisionresources.com/), is the authoritative source for managed care data, analysis, and news. For more information, please visit http://www.healthleaders-interstudy.com/.

All company, brand, or product names contained in this document may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.

  For more information, contact:    Alex Jablokow    Decision Resources    781-296-2562    ajablokow@dresources.com 

SOURCE: HealthLeaders-InterStudy

CONTACT: Alex Jablokow of Decision Resources, +1-781-296-2562,
ajablokow@dresources.com

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