Tentative Agreement To Save OSUMC Reached

Tuesday, November 25th 2008, 7:26 pm
By: News On 6

By Jennifer Loren, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- State leaders breathe life into the ailing OSU Medical Center.  They've reached a tentative agreement that would save the hospital and the OSU medical residency program.  The tentative agreement comes just in the nick of time as the OSU Medical Center was preparing to close, creating a health care crisis in Tulsa.

Time was almost up.  Hospital administrators had set a December 1st deadline for the state to step in and help the ailing hospital or they'd close.  Now it appears the state has done so.

In a statement released by Governor Henry's office, state leaders have reached a tentative agreement with Tulsa stakeholders that would preserve the OSU medical residency program and save the OSU Medical Center.

They say they won't be able to discuss the details of the agreement just yet, but a source with insider knowledge of Tuesday's meetings tells The News on 6 the tentative agreement is not exactly what Tulsa leaders had asked for.

They say under the agreement the state would provide a multi-million dollar capitol reserve budget and a two year indigent care subsidy that would decrease in year three.  It would decrease as a new insurance model kicked in, reducing the number of uninsured people in Tulsa.

The tentative agreement now has to be approved by everyone involved, including several Tulsa stakeholders.  Some of those stakeholders include St. John's Medical Center which offered to be an at-risk operator of the hospital, Hillcrest and the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Oklahoma Senator Tom Adelson says those stakeholders have made a huge difference leading to an agreement.

"No other community that I can think of has stepped up and time and time again and Tulsa philanthropy and Tulsa businesses and the hospitals step up and embrace the community. And, this is another example of that," said Senator Tom Adelson.

When OSU residents heard the news they were ecstatic and optimistic.

"This means that I get to keep my job and I get to continue my training here in Oklahoma. And, hopefully continue practicing in Oklahoma," said 4th year resident Mindi Bull.

"I think the details will work themselves out and I'm just happy to have the hospital stay open for now," said 4th year resident Chris Vassiliou.

Again, the agreement is tentative.  All parties are bringing the details back to Tulsa where they will be scrutinized by their respective boards. 

Residents hope they'll have everything ironed out by that December 1st deadline.

Related Story:

11/25/2008  More Support For The OSU Medical Center