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Holdenville General Hospital Continues Battle for Healthcare Access

September 05, 2017

Despite an economic downturn in recent months, Holdenville General Hospital continues to do everything possible to provide access to healthcare for our local community. In addition to providing access to healthcare, the hospital also has a large economic impact on the community.

Rural hospitals across the nation are in a similar plight; however the federal government has been slow to approve any new legislation that would bring needed relief. Data provided from a 2016 iVantage Analytics study shows that 673 rural hospitals across the United States are at risk for closing; 42 of the 76 rural hospitals located in Oklahoma are at risk.  This places our state second only to Texas for the greatest number of at-risk hospitals in the nation.  Last year alone, Sayre, Fredrick and Eufaula hospitals have closed.

Local hospital personnel have made tremendous efforts to become as economically efficient as possible without affecting the quality of services provided. Holdenville General Hospital continues to provide 24 hour emergency room coverage, inpatient and swing bed care (rehabilitation), Physical Therapy, Surgery, Radiology, Laboratory and Respiratory Care Services along with operating three Rural Health Clinics.  Holdenville is very fortunate to have the quality of people, services and equipment in a community our size.

To help bring more financial stability, the hospital’s Operating Board signed a Letter of Intent with SSM Health Care of Oklahoma in July to begin evaluating the possibility of a management agreement between the two organizations. This would give SSM Health Care of Oklahoma operational control, but the City of Holdenville would still own the hospital facility through the Public Trust.  SSM Health of Oklahoma members include St. Anthony Hospital, Bone and Joint Hospital at St. Anthony, St. Anthony Shawnee Hospital, and St. Anthony Physicians Group.  This alignment would continue to improve the efficiency of the hospital, improve reimbursement from Medicare for the local hospital, and strengthen local services such as physician recruitment.  If structured correctly, it would definitely be a win-win for both entities and ultimately for the community the hospital serves.

Currently, the hospital requests the continued support from the community. There are several ways to support the hospital, however most important being utilization.

Our local hospital provides services for outpatient exams such as lab work, x-rays, ultrasound, CT and MRI exams, in addition to an excellent physical therapy department. These services can be performed locally even if you are seeing specialists in other cities.  Just let your specialist know you would like these tests or exams performed at Holdenville General Hospital.

In December of 2016, Holdenville General Hospital welcomed a new general surgeon, Dr. William Slater, to our medical staff. Dr. Slater performs routine general surgery procedures that include colonoscopy or stomach exam (EGD), gallbladder removal, hernia repair, and many others. Most are performed on an outpatient basis; however inpatient surgery is available if indicated.

Holdenville General Hospital currently operates three clinics for your basic family practice/general medicine needs. The Rural Health Clinic and the Physician Health Clinic are located on the same campus as the main facility, and the Wewoka Health Clinic is located just outside Wewoka, about ten miles from the main campus.  The clinics offer a total of eight healthcare providers, physicians and mid-levels to meet you and your family’s needs.

In addition to our on-site providers, Holdenville General Hospital has several Specialists who see patients in our Specialty Clinic, conveniently located next to the admissions department. This provides a suitable way for our community to maintain access to those providers that practice in the larger cities and limits extended travel times and cost. Many of these providers utilize our ancillary services for testing and diagnostics, providing further support of the facility.

Currently, Holdenville General Hospital Specialty Clinic offers Cardiology, Nephrology, Ophthalmology, Orthodpedics, Pain Medicine, Sleep Studies, and Urology. Procedures offered locally as a result of these specialists include cataract surgery, knee scopes, and injections for relief of pain and bladder scopes.

Medicare patients in the hospital for at least three nights, within 30 thirty days of their hospital stay, may request admission into our swing bed program for continued rehabilitative care. This may include services such as wound care, continued intravenous therapy/antibiotics, physical therapy to increase strength before returning home, or occupational therapy for improvement of fine motor skills.  Many physicians in the urban areas are not familiar with this program; however, you have the right to this care if you qualify.

Finally, appropriate utilization of the Emergency Room for your emergency needs is vitally important. If the issue is not an emergency, it is imperative that you seek treatment in one of the available clinics.  Gradually over time, the utilization of the emergency room for non-emergent issues has negatively impacted the financial stability of the facility.

There is a saying that it takes a community to raise a child. In this case, it takes a community to support and save their hospital. Please visit our website at holdenvillehospital.com for more information about offered services, providers, clinics or how to schedule an appointment. Thank you for your continued support.