Modern Healthcare - - Regional News -

ED­MOND, Okla.—

Sis­ters of Mercy Health Sys­tem, Ch­ester­field, Mo., broke ground on an $88 mil­lion health fa­cil­ity de­signed to serve as a pro­to­type for the 22-hos­pi­tal sys­tem for its op­er­a­tions in Arkansas, Kansas, Mis­souri and Ok­la­homa, ac­cord­ing to a news re­lease from the sys­tem. The build­ing, which was de­signed with com­mu­nity in­put, will in­clude: a walkin clinic, a well­ness cen­ter, an imag­ing/women’s cen­ter, a re­tail phar­macy, a child­care cen­ter for pa­tient use, sports re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion, a cafe, a lab and an out­pa­tient surgery cen­ter. “We have lis­tened to the Ed­mond com­mu­nity ev­ery step of the way, be­gin­ning with

OCOEE, Fla.—

The board of Health Cen­tral voted to move for­ward with a pos­si­ble af­fil­i­a­tion with Or­lando Health. The vote was a step to­ward pre­par­ing a letter of in­tent in March, ac­cord­ing to an ex­pla­na­tion of the move posted on Health Cen­tral’s web­site. The ne­go­ti­a­tions de­ter­min­ing the de­tails of any fi­nal agree­ment is ex­pected to take sev­eral months, the hos­pi­tal said. Or­lando Health, which owns three hos­pi­tals, has two af­fil­i­a­tions that fall short of full own­er­ship, spokes­woman Kena Lewis said. The sys­tem holds a 50% stake in South Lake Hos­pi­tal in Semi­nole, Fla., and a 20% stake in St. Cloud (Fla.) Re­gional Med­i­cal Cen­ter, Lewis said. Health Cen­tral chose Or­lando Health over three other suit­ors agree­ment by the end of sum­mer. Broad terms of the part­ner­ship were not dis­closed. The part­ner­ship will en­able Val­ley Bap­tist to gain ac­cess to cap­i­tal and to strengthen col­lab­o­ra­tions with physi­cians, ac­cord­ing to the re­lease. One pos­si­ble move in­volv­ing both of those rea­sons would be a buy­out of Val­ley Bap­tist’s part­ner in 88-bed Har­lin­gen (Texas) Med­i­cal Cen­ter—MedCath Corp., Char­lotte, N.C. In­vestor-owned MedCath holds a 34.8% stake in the hos­pi­tal, ac­cord­ing to a se­cu­ri­ties fil­ing. Van­guard bought MedCath’s 70.6% own­er­ship in­ter­est in Ari­zona Heart Hos­pi­tal, Phoenix, in Oc­to­ber. MedCath is sell­ing off its as­sets in or­der to liq­ui­date the com­pany. Val­ley Bap­tist signed a mem­o­ran­dum of un­der­stand­ing last year to merge with a neigh­bor­ing tax-ex­empt hos­pi­tal, Knapp Med­i­cal Cen­ter in Wes­laco, Texas, in the hopes of im­prov­ing its ac­cess to cap­i­tal. The mem­o­ran­dum ex­pired with no deal tak­ing place. Val­ley Bap­tist in­cludes a 480-bed hos­pi­tal in Har­lin­gen and a 280-bed hos­pi­tal in Brownsville.


Gov. Rick Scott wants to kill a pro­gram that es­tab­lishes a data­base to track of­ten-abused pre­scrip­tion drugs in the state, say­ing the sys­tem— which has been stalled by un­re­lated lit­i­ga­tion over bid­ding— would not pe­nal­ize the rogue pain clin­ics that dot South Florida. Last year, the Florida Leg­is­la­ture ap­proved a law to cre­ate the data­base of pre­scrip­tions us­ing pri­vate funds and grants, but state of­fi­cials now say the state will have to pay at least $500,000 a year to op­er­ate the pro­gram. Scott rec­om­mended in a Feb. 7 bud­get pro­posal that the Leg­is­la­ture not fund it, say­ing through a spokesman that the law would not af­fect the “pill mills” that op­er­ate il­le­gally be­cause they would not self-re­port ques­tion­able be­hav­iors. Repub­li­can Se­nate Pres­i­dent Mike Hari­dopo­los says lawmakers still plan to im­ple­ment fund­ing, and that the gov­er­nor’s bud­get pro­pos­als are only rec­om­men­da­tions. Florida At­tor­ney Gen­eral Pam Bondi has said the state is the na­tional epi­cen­ter of pre­scrip­tion di­ver­sion and abuse. A re­port from the Florida Depart­ment of Law En­force­ment found that oxy­codone use di­rectly caused the deaths of 79 peo­ple in the state in 2009, and con­trib­uted to an­other 1,100 deaths.

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