El Reno, SSM Health break ground on new hospital

The future SSM Health St. Anthony Healthplex in El Reno is shown in this rendering. Officials broke ground for it Tuesday. [IMAGE PROVIDED]
The future SSM Health St. Anthony Healthplex in El Reno DALE DENWALT Oklahoma. com

Construction has begun on a new hospital and emergency department in El Reno.

Officials with the city and SSM Health St. Anthony broke ground Tuesday on the facility, which will be at the northeast corner of State Highway 81 and Interstate 40.

Along with an eight-room emergency wing, the Healthplex will have four observation beds, offices for four physicians and a clinic for primary and urgent care. New construction includes living quarters and ambulance bays for the hospital’s new emergency medical services provider, Pafford Medical Services.

Outpatient services will include a laboratory and diagnostic imaging.

“It really is kind of the right size for us. It helps us bring healthcare to rural Oklahoma,” El Reno Mayor Matt White said. “What we need more than anything is doctors.”

The city expects the Healthplex to open in mid-2021. Construction costs will top $6.5 million and will be paid for with existing cash already held by the city, White said. El Reno will own the main building with the emergency room, and SSM Health will own a separate building at the site that will house the doctors’ offices.

El Reno lost its hospital April 30 when Mercy decided to close its inpatient service. Since Mercy closed, SSM Health has operated the city’s emergency room.

Mercy officials said it would have cost too much to remodel the existing hospital, and that it had lost an estimated $2.9 million on operations there in 2017. At the time, about 12 patients per month used that hospital’s inpatient facilities, while another 50 traveled from El Reno to hospitals in Oklahoma City.

The SSM Health St. Anthony Healthplex will not have inpatient service.

Hospitals in rural communities are key economic engines and top employers, Oklahoma Hospital Association President Patti Davis said.

“When a hospital closes, it creates a domino effect of lost health care services as physicians leave the community and clinics and pharmacies close. New models of care that keep emergency and outpatient care in these communities will be more and more vital as a way to sustain rural facilities that have withstood multiple reimbursement cuts over the past decade,” Davis said.

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A hip replacement, at the push of a button?

Mayo Clinic has a long history of engineering and making its own tools and devices, but a new printer will catapult in-house manufacturing to a shiny, new level.

Construction is underway in the downtown Baldwin Building to create space for the Mayo Clinic division of Engineering Additive Manufacturing facility. The core of that facility will be a 3D printer or additive manufacturing device that will use “medical-grade, implant-grade titanium” to produce devices, tools and more. Someday, it could even be used to manufacture patient implants.

“It’s a big deal. To my knowledge, Mayo Clinic is the only hospital not connected to an university engineering department installing a 3D metal printer,” said Laralyn McDaniel of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. “It’s a considerable leap, particularly within hospital setting.”

Jeff Kiger jkiger@postbulletin.com


Bernie Sanders’s and Elizabeth Warren’s health-care: Washington Post

Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) during the second Democratic debate in Detroit on July 30. (Lucas Jackson/Reuters)
Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) during the second Democratic debate in Detroit on July 30. (Lucas Jackson/Reuters)

By Editorial Board November 6, 2019 at 4:14 p.m. PST

SINGLE-PAYER HEALTH care can work. Government-run systems operate in other industrialized countries and often achieve comparable or better overall results, for less money, than the health-care patchwork in the United States. So why aren’t Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) proposing something that resembles those systems?

The two presidential candidates promise far more generous benefits than other countries offer. They pretend that the United States wouldn’t have to make any of the trade-offs other nations have had to make. They promise fantastically generous benefits, no premiums, co-payments or other cost-sharing, and a miraculously low price tag. It’s fiction.

Mr. Sanders points to government-run systems abroad to claim that his Medicare-for-all plan is realistic. But his differs from those in substantial ways. Meanwhile, Ms. Warren last week released a detailed explanation purporting to show how her system would function and, crucially, how the federal treasury could finance such a vast entitlement expansion. The result is inescapable: As written, it couldn’t.

Bernard Tyson, Chairman and CEO of Kaiser Permanente, Dies at 60

Bernard Tyson, chief executive officer at Kaiser Permanente, died Sunday. Photo: ANDREW DAVIS for The Wall Street Journal

Kaiser Permanente Chief Executive Bernard Tyson, a high-profile voice in U.S. health policy, died unexpectedly Sunday.

Mr. Tyson, CEO of the Oakland, Calif.-based nonprofit hospital system and health insurer since 2013, died unexpectedly in his sleep, Kaiser said in a statement. He was 60. “Bernard was an exceptional colleague, a passionate leader, and an honorable man,” said Kaiser board member Edward Pei. “We will greatly miss him.”

Kaiser named Gregory Adams, an executive vice president and group president, as interim chief executive and chairman.

Mr. Tyson joined Kaiser Permanente roughly 30 years ago and held roles in hospital and health plan operations before succeeding George Halvorson as CEO, Kaiser said. As he rose through the ranks at Kaiser Permanente, Mr. Tyson became a prominent voice for the type of integrated care the nonprofit system delivers, with the health-insurance, hospital and doctor services all closely tied together.

Kaiser Permanente expanded into medical education and new markets under Mr. Tyson, who in 2015 announced the nonprofit would launch a medical school in Southern California. The school is expected to be open in the summer of 2020. Also in 2015, Mr. Tyson unveiled plans to acquire a Washington state health insurer, a deal that was completed in 2017. The company also expanded its footprint in California and Oregon, and invested heavily in telehealth and other technology for digital services, such as secure emails between patients and doctors.

Kaiser’s combined health-insurance and hospital operations rank among the largest U.S. health systems, with $83 billion in annual revenue.

“His visionary leadership and powerful ideas transformed the health-care landscape in this country and around the world, allowing people to live longer, healthier lives,” Nancy Brown, chief executive of the American Heart Association, said in a statement. Mr. Tyson served on the association’s board.

Mr. Tyson was also a leading African-American CEO, touching on issues of race relations in some of his public writings and speaking. In 2014, he wrote about his personal experiences in a LinkedIn post about race relations, including having a store attendant watch and follow him around an upscale store where he was shopping. “Even as a CEO, the black male experience is my reality,” he wrote.

He mentored black executives and launched an initiative to recruit more black board members to publicly traded companies as chairman of the Executive Leadership Council, said Ronald Parker, who served as president and CEO from 2012 to 2018 of the national organization, which seeks to increase opportunities for black executives. “He was a beautiful person,” said Mr. Parker. “Smart. Strategic. Empathetic.”

Kaiser Permanente has recently been facing some labor strife. A group of 4,000 psychologists and other professionals had been set to begin a five-day strike Monday, but said they were postponing it in the wake of Mr. Tyson’s death.

He is survived by his wife, Denise Bradley-Tyson, and three sons; Bernard J. Tyson Jr., Alexander and Charles.

—Anna Wilde Mathews contributed to this article.

US medical device maker Stryker to buy Wright Medical

US medical device maker Stryker will buy smaller rival Wright Medical in a deal worth $5.4bn including debt as it seeks to boost its exposure to the fast-growing orthopaedics market.  Michigan-headquartered Stryker said on Monday that it would pay $30.75 per share for Wright Medical, a near 40 per cent premium to Friday’s closing share price. The deal has an equity value of $4bn, with a total enterprise value of approximately $5.4bn.


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