The Oklahoma State University Medical Authority (OSUMA) in Tulsa has selected Mercy Health System to manage its 249-bed Oklahoma State University (OSU) Medical Center hospital in downtown Tulsa.
OSUMA and Mercy will now begin discussions for a long-term management contract that includes investments to modernise the facilities and upgrade operations at the OSU Medical Center.
OSUMA is a state agency and trust established in 2013 that owns the OSU Medical Center, the nation’s largest osteopathic teaching hospital working directly with the OSU College of Osteopathic Medicine to train approximately 150 primary care physicians a year.
The funds also support graduate medical education and medical residencies for the OSU College of Osteopathic Medicine in Tulsa.
In addition, the hospital provides healthcare services to serve both rural and urban underserved medical communities across north-east Oklahoma and provides nearly 1,000 jobs to the region.
OSU Medical Center Trust chair Jerry Hudson described the OSUMA board’s decision to select Mercy as a potential management partner as a pivotal moment for OSU, Tulsa and the rest of the state.
"Mercy’s reputation and experience in operating high-quality, large-volume hospitals throughout this region of the country is well-known," Hudson added.
"Mercy’s unquestioned commitment to the OSU medical school residents and students and their passion to care for the medically underserved creates a sound foundation for a long-term relationship."
As the due diligence process begins, OSU Medical Center Trust will explore strategies and initiatives to ensure viability in the dynamic healthcare environment.
In 2013, the hospital served more than 45,000 individuals in the emergency room and 25,000 patient visits.
Mercy Oklahoma regional president Di Smalley said that Mercy is pleased its proposal has been selected and it looks forward to the next phase of discussions with OSU towards a potential long-term management relationship.
"The mission of the OSU Medical Center and the OSU College of Osteopathic Medicine to provide Oklahoma with well-educated and trained primary care physicians and to serve both rural and urban underserved medical communities is ideally aligned with Mercy’s mission in Oklahoma," Smalley added.
Mercy is the sixth largest Catholic health care system in the US with 33 acute care hospitals, four heart hospitals, two children’s hospitals, two rehab hospitals, one orthopaedic hospital and nearly 700 clinic and outpatient facilities.
OSU president Burns Hargis said that a management agreement will not only secure the future of the OSU Medical Center, but also put a plan in place to upgrade the facility and health care delivery.
"This public-private partnership is a proven structure to manage health care costs while at the same time improves the capabilities of the medical center through its affiliation with an established regional health care system with tremendous scale and scope," Hargis added.
Image: OSU Medical Center in Tulsa. Photo courtesy of Oklahoma State University.