HMO'S consent order lifted
Maryland has lifted a consent order that it had imposed oTotal Health Care, a health-maintenance organization that handles Medicaid patients, according to Maryland Insurance Commissioner John A. Donaho.
"They've made a very remarkable turnaround," Donaho said yesterday, referring to the HMO. "The time has come to recognize that."
The state released the organization from stringent reporting requirements that were imposed 24 months ago when the HMO was found to be financially impaired.
Total Health Care serves 22,000 patients in Baltimore.
Pesticide tests positive
Crop Genetics International, a Maryland-based biotechnology firm, announced good results from the most recent field trials of its corn-borer pesticide.
The pesticide, a genetically altered bacteria that is toxic to corn borers, is known as InCide. In previous tests, InCide reduced crop yields and proved only marginally more effective that chemical pesticides.
But in the most recent trials, the bioinsecticide demonstrated "significant" insect control in 12 corn hybrids, Crop Genetics said yesterday in a press release.
The company said under insect infestation levels considered "moderate" by Nebraska standards, InCide reduced the amount of damage caused by the corn borer by amounts ranging from 26 percent to 72 percent, depending on the hybrid. Crop Genetics said InCide consists of a naturally occurring microorganism that can exist in the vascular system of corn plants like a vaccine. It produces a biotoxin that is fatal to corn borers that feed on the plants inoculated with InCide. The product is harmless to humans and animals, the company said.
McCormick stock splits
McCormick and Co., the Hunt Valley-based spice company, said today it has set a 2-for-1 stock split, effective Jan. 17, to holders of record Dec. 31 through distribution of one new share ** for each share held.
The company said that it last split its stock, also a 2-for-1 split, in January 1990. The company also said it intends to raise its cash dividend on both classes of common stock beginning with the quarterly dividend payable in January.
Turner Broadcasting System Inc. says it is planning a private television network that would beam news, entertainment and advertising into the nation's 8,500 McDonald's restaurants.
McDonald's spokeswoman Rebecca Caruso confirmed that the fast-food giant has made an agreement under which Turner will "explore the development of a customized television network for our restaurants around the United States."