Providers Join Forces to Land Insurance Contracts

Article excerpt

Ink's drying on a deal for Integris Health to contract for managed care providers with the Central Oklahoma Medical Group, one of the Sooner State's largest physician practices.

Integris also will serve as the group's capital partner, lending it money for growth and development projects.

COMG employs 47 physicians and 47 support staff in its care of 62,000 patients in six facilities across the Oklahoma City area. By seeking additional insurance contracts with Integris, COMG Executive Director Steve Powell hopes to chart 30 percent growth over the next three to four years. "The physicians of Central Oklahoma Medical Group feel very strongly that health care should be directed by physicians and that our group should be owned and governed by physicians," notes Dr. Robert Beckerley, president of the group. "Our agreement with Integris will help ensure this philosophy for years to come." Both organizations will maintain their separate identities, ownership and governance. They will work together through a joint contracting committee to develop contracting strategies and market to insurers. "Our organizations have worked together effectively for 16 years," says Integris President and CEO Stanley Hupfeld. "This agreement not only allows for more organized and coordinated efforts between us, but it also increases Integris' primary care physician capacity, which will help keep down costs of care." Business St. Anthony's Center of Behavioral Medicine received a bronze medal at the 14th Annual Healthcare Advertising Awards for its direct mail campaign, "Mental Health Matters Series." The five-postcard series was selected from more than 3,000 entries in 24 different categories by Heathcare Marketing Report. ManorCare Health Services has opened a rehabilitation unit in Norman featuring 10 semi-private rooms, an outdoor patio, special therapy gym and whirlpool. It will hold an open house for the new unit from 4-7 p.m. Sept. 25. The Group for Research in Pathology Education is moving its central office to the University of Oklahoma Department of Pathology. Founded at the University of Iowa in 1970, GRIPE is moving to the OU Health Sciences Center from its current home at the University of Southern California. The organization of 60 medical schools and individual members around the world holds two conferences annually and publishes a journal. Its executive director is John H. Holliman, OU's Noble Foundation professor of pathology. Hospitals, physicians, pharmacists, dentists and other professionals within Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma's provider directories may now be found on the Internet at www.bcbsok.com Mercy Health Center's outpatient services scored well in the hospital's six-month patient satisfaction report, with results on five of the six surveyed questions charted within the hospital's "positive perception" range. For inpatient services, results on four of seven questions fell within the positive field. The survey was prepared by Healthcare Research Systems during the first half of 1997. El Reno's Redlands Community College is the first school in central Oklahoma to offer a health care technician certification program. It plans to offer four to five of the 10-week unlicensed assistive personnel courses each year. "Tulsa Community College has been offering the program a little over a year with great results: 100 percent of the certified graduates are being immediately em-ployed," notes the coordinator of Redlands' program, Toni Pratt-Reid. Gatherings Obstetrics and gynecology physicians are gearing up for the 36th annual OB/GYN Fall Symposium, Oct. 15-17 at the Clarion Hotel. Certified for 18 hours of category 1 continuing education, the symposium is sponsored by the OU College of Medicine, Maternal and Child Health Service, the Oklahoma State Department of Health and the Oklahoma Chapter of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. …