Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Mercy Health System Shows Strong Growth in 1997

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Mercy Health System Shows Strong Growth in 1997

Article excerpt

Mercy Health System Oklahoma enjoyed strong growth in admissions, outpatient visits and total assets for 1997, the three-hospital system reports in its slick annual report. Spending on charity care also surged over the past year.

The Sooner State subsidiary of the Sisters of Mercy has enjoyed growth in all four areas over the last five years, but its 1997 marks were especially dynamic considering the system made no major acquisitions. In October 1995, the St. Louis parent company acquired St. Mary's Hospital in Enid from the Adorers Of The Blood of Christ, renaming the facility St. Mary's Mercy Hospital. The following year Mercy Health System Oklahoma added the Ardmore community hospital, now known as the Mercy Memorial Health Center.

Despite that, the Mercy Health System Oklahoma posted admissions of 20,000 last year, up 17 percent from about 17,000 in 1996. Its outpatient visits approached 500,000, up more than 30 percent from just more than 375,000 the prior year. Its total assets approached $280 million, almost 40 percent above the `96 level of just over $200 million. Its charity care, meanwhile topped $20 million, 66 percent above the $12 million level of 1996. Business Dr. Jeanette Padgett, who practices plastic and reconstructive surgery at The Plaza at Mercy, now employs a laser hair removal system called GentleLASE. It uses light beams directed at the unwanted hair, which are absorbed by the body chemical melanin found at the source of hair growth. The laser produces enough heat to disable just the hair follicle area. HealthCare Innovations now offers the CareLine program, which helps people with chronic health problems keep pace with their prescribed medication or treatment. The program, a national telephone-based monitoring system by the California firm BehavioralCare, is being marketed statewide through the Oklahoma Pharmacists Association. The Medicare program saved $23.8 million in fiscal 1997 due to payment safeguarding programs by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma, according to the Tulsa-based insurer. Last year Blue Cross processed nearly 1. …

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