Delivery of health care in Oklahoma is becoming more sophisticated,
more complicated and more expansive almost on a daily basis, and
hospitals have been forced to aggressively compete for the
This competition is forcing small and large hospitals alike to
devise strategies to hold patient costs as low as possible while, at
the same time, increasing income to cover those added expenses.
Two hospitals, Bethany General Hospital and Baptist Medical
Center, probably are typical of the hospitals which have creatively
met these needs.
Buzzwords for this new strategy are "quality care" and "patient
needs." Possibly the newest buzzword for the health care delivery
units in Oklahoma is "profits," even for the not-for-profit
Administrators for both hospitals say strategies are working.
"We haven't raised our rates in three years, and we have no
plans to do so this year," said Bethany General's Ron J. Sloan.
Sloan said this holding the line on room rates is directly
attributilble to the profit-making ventures of the hospsital's
subsidiary, Healthcare Dimensions of Oklahoma.
Healthcare Dimensions works with physicians to operate and
manage private clinics on a for-profit basis as well as working with
for-profit medical groups and organizations.
Possibly the most successful of these joint ventures, Sloan
said, is Bethany Pavilion, a 40-bed psychiatric facility at the
hospital. It is a joint venture between the municipal hospital and
the profit-oriented Healthcare Services of America Inc.
Healthcare Dimensions also has joint ventures with the Family
Medical Clinic in Yukon and Western Oaks Medical Center in Bethany.
The reason for these ventures is to convince physicians of the
quality of the hospital so they will utilize the facilities when
hospitalizing a patient.
Apparently, it's working for Sloan reports an increase in almost
every category this fiscal year which began July 1.
Seven months into the year, the hospital has registered a 71
percent increase in patient days over the 12 month total of the
previous fiscal year.
Sloan said he is expecting the hospital to have a net income of
$1 million this fiscal year, based solely on increased business.
Thus far into the fiscal year, the hospital has exceeded patient
revenues of all previous year-end totals since the hospital was
established in 1970.
Officials at Baptist Medical Center created a parent company,
Oklahoma Healthcare Corp., to provide services to help support the
Rex Levering, executive vice president of Oklahom Healthcare,
said efficiency, new programs, networking with other health care
providers and marketing strategies all are being used to hold the
line on costs to patients.
Some of these programs reduce the time a patient must spend in
An example of this type program is the out-patient surgical
clinic nearing completion at Baptist.
"Right now, about 26 percent of all surgical procedures are
performed on an out-patient basis," Levering said. "Within five
years 50 to 60 percent of all surgerical procedures will be done
this way. …