JPMC cuts hospital ties

Mike ErwinJournal-Capital
JPMC cuts hospital ties

Following the termination of a longtime agreement between Pawhuska Hospital and Jane Phillips Medical Center of Bartlesville, Oklahoma-based Carter Professional Care recently assumed management responsibilities over the local facility.

JPMC withdrew in April from the Pawhuska Hospital management agreement which had been in effect since 1987. Public discussion about the situation was not disclosed until early June, however. By mid-month, the Carter group — assisted by Oklahoma City’s Praxis Health Group — had taken over the operation of the local critical-access facility.

“The local (hospital) board is currently very engaged with our management team,” said Shaun Beggs, interim administrator for Pawhuska Hospital since early last week. “There a silver lining in the form of a clear commitment to retain these community services.”

Beggs said there have already been increases in the numbers of acute-care admissions.

“I think that is a clear indication that we are already making progress,” Beggs said. “We also are in the process of negotiating some new contracts which will be key to our continuing operations.”

In addition to making up substantial ground on billing and technical matters, there are serious ongoing negotiations with regard to vital insurance contracts.

Reportedly, local board members have asked for a brief extension of contracts currently covered through a continuing “umbrella” agreement under the Saint John Health System — which purchased JPMC approximately one year ago.

Based in Edmond, Carter Professional Care presently manages similar hospital facilities in Anadarko, Stroud and Wilburton.

“Each have presented some unique challenges,” Banker said. “and I think those will help us as we work to accomplish our goals here in Pawhuska.”

Although the Pawhuska Hospital Board normally meets on the fourth Thursday of each month, the five-member local team has been working steadily since first learning about JPMC’s impending decision to terminate its nearly 30-year-old local management agreement.

Located at 1101 E. 15th St., Pawhuska Hospital is classified as a general medical and surgical facility. Pawhuska Hospital Governing Board includes Nancy Woodyard, Beth Reed, Beverly Moore, Ben West and Jerry Mosley.