Hospital owners plan south facility


The Oklahoman (Oklahoma City, OK)

March 3, 2007 Saturday
City Edition

Hospital owners plan south facility;

North center to add 70,000-foot wing

Jim Stafford, Business Writer

Investors in the successful Oklahoma Heart Hospital in northwest Oklahoma City have bought 25 acres near I-240 and Sooner road on which they plan to build a $75 million clone of the specialty hospital, officials said Friday.

"We closed on that (property) about a week ago," said Dr. John Harvey, chief executive officer of the Oklahoma Heart Hospital. "We have offered and extended a significant number of new physician investors and have actually increased the number of cardiologists and cardiovascular surgeons participating to 60."

The Oklahoma Heart Hospital is jointly owned by Mercy Health System, the Oklahoma Cardiovascular Associates physicians group and other physicians.

Investors in the new hospital also will include Mercy, the Oklahoma Cardiovascular Associates and other doctors and entities that are not part of that group, Harvey said.

"We are inviting some other hospital partners in town to be a part of this," Harvey said while declining to identify possible hospital partners in the venture.

Should open in 2009 Architectural plans are being developed for the new hospital, and Harvey said he anticipates its opening in early 2009. "We look at this hospital and feel like it's been a great success to patient care and patient satisfaction, and we had a desire to extend that to more people," Harvey said. "We've had a lot of the other cardiologists in Oklahoma City come to us saying 'can we be a part of this some way.?' "

The second heart hospital would service doctors and patients in the south and southeast portions of the metro area and beyond, Harvey said. It would have the look and feel of the 78-bed Oklahoma Heart Hospital, although in a slightly smaller version, he said.

"It will be a hospital that will look very much like this one," Harvey said. "We hope to use this as a template; we've been very happy with the structure of the facility and how it allows you to service patients. The staff like it a lot."

Among other cardiologists who plan to become investors in the new hospital is Dr. Zaheer Baber, a Midwest City-based cardiologist who belongs to the Oklahoma Medical Specialists Group. He practices mostly in the Midwest City Hospital.

"What they have offered to the north side patients is very great quality care," Baber said. "We wanted to duplicate some similar thing to what these guys have done on the north side. (We've been) looking for an opportunity where we could actually coordinate with their group and their expertise and put something similar with the cardiologists from the south side." Baber said that he has practiced at Midwest City for 25 years and will continue to practice there after the new hospital is built.

"What has happened in Oklahoma City is a great fragmentation of cardiac services (because) so many hospitals trying to do the same thing," Baber said. "If you can get 20 to 30 cardiologists in one hospital and they can bring all their expertise and avail all the opportunities in one place, you can provide excellent care."

Meanwhile, Oklahoma Heart Hospital is pushing forward with a $25 million expansion at its location along the Kilpatrick Turnpike that will add 70,000 square feet of space to the 240,000-square-foot hospital.

The four-floor expansion will add a new, larger emergency room, 21 new beds, clinical space for doctors with Oklahoma Cardiovascular Associates and meeting space.

"We are absolutely at capacity at this point," Harvey said. "We like to think that the success of the group and success of the hospital -- level of patient satisfaction -- has driven a need for demand and utilization beyond anything we imagined. We won't have any trouble filling another 21 beds." The expansion recently won approval by Oklahoma City officials. Ground breaking is scheduled for mid-summer.

Hospital owners plan south facility

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