Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

New Standards of Care: Stillwater Medical Center Expansion in Line with Prevention, Outpatient Trends

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

New Standards of Care: Stillwater Medical Center Expansion in Line with Prevention, Outpatient Trends

Article excerpt

STILLWATER - Stillwater Medical Center is growing to meet demand for treatment and prevention.

The nonprofit hospital has two construction projects underway: an $11 million medical clinic and a $3 million fitness and therapy center. The expansion follows state and nationwide growth trends as more hospitals expand to meet anticipated needs, focusing on outpatient care, said Craig Jones, president of the Oklahoma Hospital Association.

The hospital recruited plenty of physicians, but doesn't have enough room for all of them, said Steve Taylor, vice president of support services. The new 50,000-square-foot clinic will house six pediatricians and 18 exam rooms, as well as accounting and billing offices. Part of the building will remain undeveloped to allow for future expansion.

However, some community hospitals aren't growing, and others are declining, Jones said. The state also remains among the top 10 nationwide without enough clinicians, including physicians, physician assistant and nurse practitioners, he said. So Stillwater's demographics and the hospital's recruiting efforts provide the opportunity to expand its medical clinic, he said.

The development follows a nationwide trend. Construction in the institutional sector, which includes hospitals, is expected to rise in 2015 by about 9 percent, according to a 2015 Dodge Construction Outlook, an industry forecast. Health care facility construction is expected to grow relative to sluggish growth in 2014.

The expansion is also related to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. As the 2010 federal health care overhaul gives more previously uninsured people access to health insurance, Taylor said he expects more people will seek treatment. The hospital does not have official patient growth projections, he said.

More hospitals are shifting the focus to outpatient treatment for several reasons, Jones said. …

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