Oklahoma doctors building their own 42-bed hospital

Special focus may be key to success

Twenty Oklahoma physicians will take the idea of integrated medical services to the extreme when they break ground sometime this fall on construction to build their own 42-bed $24 million hospital. The project was announced last May.

The group hopes to have the Moore, OK, facility, about 10 miles from Oklahoma City, open by summer 2001. The 106,000-square-foot, for-profit hospital is being built next to the existing Moore Medical Office Building, where some of the physicians already have offices.

Despite the poor record of similar ventures, the Oklahoma doctors say the combination of local demographics and a focus on certain specialties and patient populations give them the edge they will need to succeed.

Matching the population

For instance, Moore is a relatively young, growing community with many families, notes John Resneder, MD, a spokesman for the physician group. With the highest rate of private health insurance in the state and a $50,000 per capita family income, Moore also has a very small percentage of Medicare-eligible residents.

With those facts in mind, the facility has been organized to focus on such things as obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics, and routine surgeries. The hospital will offer emergency and diagnostic services, a women’s center with 12 specialty birthing suites, three surgical suites, and 30 inpatient beds.

Patients needing the services of specialists such as cardiologists, oncologists, or neurosurgeons will be referred to local tertiary care facilities for treatment.

Often, the odds of financial success for this kind of primary-care-focused hospital depend on the makeup of its payer mix, says Dean Coddington, a principal in the Denver office of health care consultants McManis Associates.

"If they stay away from a lot of the Medicare and Medicaid population and don’t have to discount or provide a lot of care for free, they may they have a shot, he says.

The Schuster Group, an Oklahoma City health care development company, is helping finance the start-up with cash and by providing the land and equipment for the facility. In exchange, the doctors are investing an undisclosed amount to cover start-up operating costs and construction.