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OCH APPEAL DISMISSED: FEDERAL DEFINITION CASE PROMPTS INDUSTRY GUIDANCE

September 14th, 2017

Springfield, MO – Ozarks Community Hospital (OCH) has filed a motion dismissing a request for an Administrative Law Judge Hearing with the Civil Remedies Division of the Department of Health and Human Services Departmental Appeals Board following a recent memorandum issued by The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

CMS has amended the State Operations Manual to address the issues Ozarks Community Hospital encountered during a survey process and appeal related to the federal definition of a hospital set in a provision of the Social Security Act.

Hospital surveyors are now required to consider whether the hospital is primarily engaged in providing inpatient services and there is a minimum standard and specific guidance on factors to consider.

According to OCH Health System Chief Executive Officer Paul Taylor, “The guidance in the amended Manual which tells surveyors how to audit hospital operations is exactly what we were asking CMS to do. Give us a rule and we will satisfy it. Before this change, it was like being ticketed for speeding even though there was no established speed limit. CMS showed up and said our inpatient census was not high enough compared to the volume of outpatient care we were doing. We increased our inpatient volume and CMS accepted our Plan of Correction which stated we would maintain that increased inpatient census. A few months later, for reasons known only to CMS, they showed up again and decided what we were doing—which they had approved—was not enough. In other words, they changed the speed limit. We asked CMS to tell us how much was enough and CMS said they could not.”

Under the new guidance, a hospital with no inpatients on the day the survey commences, will not be surveyed and the CMS regional office will conduct an investigation to determine whether the hospital has maintained an average daily census (ADC) of 2 for the prior 12 month period. If not, the hospital will be presumed to have failed to meet the standard. If the hospital had more than an ADC of 2, the hospital will be surveyed and the new guidance provides a number of factors to be considered.

Taylor added, “There is no mention in this new guidance of the volume of primary care being done by the hospital—which was the critical factor in the final decision on OCH by CMS. CMS said OCH looked more like a primary care clinic organization than a hospital. We always believed that we were doing a good thing by filling a need for primary care in the patient population we served, which was mostly people covered by governmental programs or uninsured. Had this guidance been in place in 2015, we would never have had a problem with CMS.”

Ozarks Community Hospital suspended the Springfield hospital license last summer after CMS published notice the hospital did not meet the federal definition of a hospital. Taylor filed an appeal last fall and has been focusing his efforts on communication and education in order to advocate for a change in CMS regulations. In a reply brief filed in the appeal, Taylor wrote, “CMS’s refusal to establish a fixed standard or quantitative interpretation of ‘how much’ less than ‘more than’ is sufficient to meet the definition results in arbitrary and capricious enforcement of the definition—as it has in this case.  Since the hospital industry has evolved (primarily through CMS mandates) to provide more outpatient than inpatient services as a whole and as individual facilities, CMS must promulgate a standard so that the hospital industry has some inkling of how far below more (i.e. 51%) the hospital can fall before it has fallen too far. CMS has refused to provide or divulge that standard.”

“Since there was very little chance OCH would reopen the facility as a general acute care hospital, we appealed the decision so that what happened to OCH’s Springfield hospital would not happen to another hospital. With this new guidance from CMS, the hospital industry has an ascertainable standard to assert as a shield against the subjective whim of individual decision-makers who, even when well-intentioned, can get things wrong where there is no standard. We now know the speed limit and it will be our own fault if we get caught speeding. For that reason, we have dismissed our appeal,” Taylor said.

The OCH Health System is a safety-net organization encompassing a hospital and a multitude of clinics located throughout the Southwest Missouri, Northwest Arkansas and Northeast Oklahoma area. OCH can accept Medicaid, Medicare, UHC Military and other insurances. For more information, visit www.OCHonline.com.

CMS Memo Primarily Engaged is available by clicking on the attached link.

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Kory Miskin, DPM now seeing patients at OCH Southwest City Community Clinic!

April 4th, 2017

Southwest City, MO - Dr. Kory Miskin is bringing foot care to McDonald County.  As of April 2017  he will be visiting the OCH Southwest City Community Clinic every other Wednesday.

Dr. Miskin also sees podiatric patients at the OCH of Gravette Specialty Clinic.

He can perform clinic procedures including the removal of ingrown toenails, warts and pre-cancerous lesions; minor hammertoe procedures; and removal of foreign bodies. He also offers surgical procedures including bunion, hammertoe and flatfoot reconstruction; neurectomies; plantar fasciotomy; heel spurs; fracture repair; ankle scopes and fusions; equinus procedures; forefoot and hindfoot fusions; amputations; tarsal tunnel releases; and soft tissue mass excisions.

For a complete list of podiatric services and procedures available, click the following link: http://www.ochonline.com/patients/specialties/podiatry/.

Dr. Miskin joined OCH in November 2016. He received his education from Brigham Young University – Provo and from Kent State University College of Podiatric Medicine. He is currently is a member of the American Podiatric Medical Association and American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons.

To contact Dr. Miskin’s office, call 479-344-6870.

OCH and Ozarks New Hope open clinic in Webb City

March 6th, 2017

OzarksNewHope2017

 

 

OCH and Ozarks New Hope open clinic in Webb City

Webb City, MO – OCH and Ozarks New Hope are proud to announce the opening of the Webb City Community Health Clinic this March.

The clinic (112 N. Webb Street) is open Monday through Thursday 7:30 am to 5:00 pm, and on Fridays from 7:30 am to 1:00 pm. It includes three staff members and providers Nishua Bendt, DO and Angela Husong, FNP who will provide family practice care to patients of all ages.

“We wish to become an integral part of the Webb City community providing medical care for everyone, including those who are most challenged to afford the costs,” says Steve Bearden, executive director of Ozarks New Hope. “We operate on a sliding scale fee basis, and do not turn clients away based upon their ability to pay.”

In addition to self-pay patients, the clinic can accept Medicaid, Medicare and Tricare insurances.

Dr. Bendt received her medical degree from the Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine and completed her family practice residency at Wesley Medical Center in Wichita. Dr. Bendt is a FMCSA Certified Medical Examiner and offers DOT physicals. Dr. Bendt is available on Tuesdays.

Angela Husong, FNP received her Masters of Science in Nursing from Graceland University in Lanomi, Iowa. She has more than 12 years of nursing experience. She is available Monday through Friday at the clinic.

“The Webb City community already has a heart for a similar mission and population,” says Steve. “That’s why in addition to opening this clinic, we are working on connecting with current entities to partner in providing combined resources and opportunities for those in need,” says Steve.

Ozarks New Hope, est. 2015, is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization serving healthcare facilities, their work forces and patients in and around the Ozark region. ONH exists to help the healthcare industry better serve their patients and communities by promoting public health, supporting caregivers, and establishing and maintaining health services. To contact the clinic, call 417-673-0366 or fax 417-673-0336.

The OCH Health System is a tri-state safety-net healthcare provider headquartered in Gravette, Ark. serving both urban and rural communities throughout the Ozarks. Our hospital is located in Gravette and includes a multitude clinics located throughout Southwest Missouri, Northwest Arkansas and Oklahoma. ###

OCH Health System acquires Jay Family Medicine Clinic

November 22nd, 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

och-jfmc-announceJay, OK – Effective January 1, 2017, the OCH Health System will own and operate Jay Family Medicine Clinic under a new name: OCH Jay Family Medicine Clinic.

The rural health clinic, located at 2485 N. Main in Jay, Okla. includes family practice providers Richard H. Tidwell, MD, and Shounda Turley, APRN-CNP.

“Our health system has been considering Oklahoma expansion for several years now,” says Bernadette Losh, Chief Clinics Officer. “When the opportunity to work with Dr. Tidwell became available, we were beyond thrilled. Not only does it fit our growth model and match our mission to serve the underserved; the addition of this clinic now means OCH is a tri-state health system.”

After the first of the year, OCH Jay Family Medicine Clinic will be open Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“I am very happy and encouraged to join the OCH Health System,” says Dr. Tidwell. “Changes in the healthcare industry made the future of our clinic uncertain; I know working with OCH will provide a solid future while allowing me the ability to focus on serving my current patients in Delaware County and continue providing services to those who need it most.”

Dr. Tidwell founded Jay Family Medicine Clinic in 2004. He received his education from the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine. In 2008, he was awarded “Physician of the Year” by Integris Grove General Hospital. He is currently a member of the American Academy of Family Practice, Oklahoma Academy of Family Practice and the Oklahoma State Medical Association. Shounda Turley, APRN-CNP received her education from Kaplan University in Davenport, Iowa. She has more than 20 years’ experience in the nursing field.

Jay, Okla. has a population of 2,482. It is located 23 miles from the OCH of Gravette facility.

The OCH Health System is a safety-net organization encompassing a hospital and 16 clinics located throughout the Southwest Missouri and Northwest Arkansas area. The OCH Health System serves patients in Springfield, Nixa, Carthage, Marshfield, Noel, Bolivar, Rogersville, Sparta, Mt. Vernon and Gravette, Ark. OCH can accept Medicaid, Medicare, Tricare and other insurances. For more information, visit www.OCHonline.com.

OCH welcomes new podiatrist to Gravette hospital

November 15th, 2016

Gravette, AR – OCH of Gravette announces the addition of Kory D. Miskin, DPM. Dr. Miskin is a podiatrist joining the OCH of Gravette Specialty Clinic (1101 S. Jackson St.) this December.

“We are thrilled to have a podiatrist at the hospital,” says Jackie Powell, OCH of Gravette Specialty Clinic Manager. “Our surgery department has continued to grow, and this is a much needed specialty for our patients.”

Dr. Miskin can perform clinic procedures including the removal of ingrown toenails, warts and pre-cancerous lesions; minor hammertoe procedures; and removal of foreign bodies. He will also offer surgical procedures including bunion, hammertoe and flatfoot reconstruction; neurectomies; plantar fasciotomy; heel spurs; fracture repair; ankle scopes and fusions; equinus procedures; forefoot and hindfoot fusions; amputations; tarsal tunnel releases; and soft tissue mass excisions.

Dr. Miksin received his education from Brigham Young University – Provo and from Kent State University College of Podiatric Medicine. He is currently is a member of the American Podiatric Medical Association and American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons.

To contact the OCH of Gravette Specialty Clinic call 479-344-6870.

The OCH Health System is a safety-net organization encompassing a hospital and 16 clinics located throughout the Southwest Missouri and Northwest Arkansas area. The OCH health system serves patients in Springfield, Nixa, Carthage, Marshfield, Noel, Bolivar, Rogersville, Sparta, Mt. Vernon and Gravette, Ark. OCH can accept Medicaid, Medicare, Tricare and other insurances. For more information, visit www.OCHonline.com.

OCH Health System Hosting 2nd Annual National Rural Health Day Photo Contest

November 11th, 2016

 OCH Health System is hosting its 2nd annual National Rural Health Day Photo Contest to celebrate the 2016 National Rural Health Day! Check out our photo submissions and vote for the best photos that showcase the beauty of the areas and patients we serve!

Eligibility

  • This contest is open to all OCH Facebook Fans, and there is no entry fee. Visit us at www.facebook.com/OzarksCH to enter.
  • Each participant is allowed to post ONE picture of what “Rural means to YOU.” All photos must be original artwork of the entrant and must not infringe upon copyrights, trademarks, and rights of privacy, publicity or other rights of any person or entity.
  • The OCH Health System has the right to remove photos from the contest consideration if the content of the photo promotes obscene, defamatory, threatening, harassing, hateful, racially or ethnically offensive content, or contains otherwise inappropriate content.

Submission Process

  • Post ONE picture of “What Rural means to YOU”! Be sure to include the hashtag #celebratethepowerofrural. Make sure the picture is set to public so you can share outside of your organization. Only one entry per person will be accepted.
  • Share your submission and OCH’s FB page to gain likes. Visitors must “like” the picture on our page for it to count. You may share the link to the Facebook picture on other social media (i.e. Twitter, website, etc.), but only the likes on the Facebook picture will be counted         for the challenge.
  • The winner will be determined by the picture with the most likes as of FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 18 at 8 a.m. The sooner you get your entry posted, the better chance you will have to win!

Prize

  • OCH is giving away one $50 GIFT CARD to the wining photo (photo with most likes).
  • The winning photo will be featured as a header image on the OCH Health System Facebook page, as well as on the other OCH Health System brand social media pages (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+).

OCH of Gravette to host free Medicare Q&A event

November 2nd, 2016

Gravette, AR – Ozarks Community Hospital (OCH) of Gravette is hosting a free education event on Tuesday, November 15 from 11a.m. to 12:30p.m. to answer questions and provide information on Medicare.

This event is free and open to the public and will include complimentary refreshments.  It will take place in the hospital cafeteria located at 1101 Jackson St. SW.

A panel of healthcare professionals will be available to help explain Medicare and the options that are available, discuss the various types of plan coverages and help answer any questions.

“This free education event is ideal for all Medicare-eligible individuals or anyone who works closely with Medicare-eligible individuals,” says Amanda Gittlein, marketing and communications manager. “It’s the perfect opportunity for local citizens to get all of their questions answered in one place.”

For more information or to R.S.V.P. call 479-344-6464 or email [email protected]

The OCH Health System is a safety-net organization encompassing a hospital and 16 clinics located throughout the Southwest Missouri and Northwest Arkansas area. The OCH health system serves patients in Springfield, Nixa, Carthage, Marshfield, Noel, Bolivar, Rogersville, Sparta, Mt. Vernon and Gravette, Ark. OCH can accept Medicaid, Medicare, Tricare and other insurances. For more information, visit www.OCHonline.com.

OCH of Gravette provides athletic trainer for Gravette Schools

September 12th, 2016

Gravette, AR – Ozarks Community Hospital (OCH) of Gravette welcomes Leo F. Krajewski ATC, CSCS, to the therapy services department.

Leo Krajewski, ATC, CSCS is a Certified Athletic Trainer and Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. He has over 26 years of experience as a Certified Athletic Trainer and more than 13 years as a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, including for Batesville High School and Harrison High School in Arkansas.  His office is based off campus at Gravette Public Schools, where he will serve as the full-time athletic trainer.

“I am very excited to be part of OCH as they begin this new era of sports medicine and Gravette School system coverage,” says Mr. Krajewski.  “It is a real honor to become part of the rich history and tradition of Gravette Athletics; I look forward to helping them any way I can.”

Krajewski received his Master of Science in Exercise Science and Exercise Physiology from Illinois State University. He received his Bachelor of Science in Athletic Training from Lock Haven University.  He has experience in the United States Army as well as experience providing athletic training at Presentation College, Lyon College, North Arkansas College, Minot State University and Trinity Health.

To contact Leo Krajewski, ATC, CSCS, call Gravette High School at 479-787-4180.

The OCH Health System is a safety-net organization encompassing a hospital and 17 clinics located throughout the Southwest Missouri and Northwest Arkansas area. The OCH health system serves patients in Springfield, Nixa, Carthage, Marshfield, Noel, Bolivar, Rogersville, Sparta, Mt. Vernon and Gravette, Ark. OCH can accept Medicaid, Medicare, Tricare and other insurances. For more information, visit www.OCHonline.com.

 

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OCH acquires four rural health clinics in McDonald County January 2017

September 1st, 2016

OCH-Elk RiverMcDonald County, MO – The OCH Health System is acquiring four McDonald County clinics currently owned by Elk River Health Services, Inc. as of January 1, 2017.

The four rural health clinics are located in Anderson, Pineville, Goodman and Southwest City. After the first of the year they will be known as OCH Anderson Rural Health Clinic, OCH Pineville Medical Clinic, OCH Goodman Family Clinic and OCH Southwest City Community Clinic.

There will be no change in staff or healthcare providers. OCH is retaining the 17 Elk River Health staff and has been working closely with the Elk River Health leadership to prepare for the ownership change. Clinic providers currently include R. David Hill, D.O.; Coral Couchenour, D.O.; Mark Kennedy, FNP-BC; Diane Rowe, FNP-C; Jill Rogers, FNP-C; and Asefa Gebre, PA-C.

“Elk River Health Services, Inc. has served McDonald County’s medical needs for the past 36 years.  Due to economic pressures from the medical insurance industry Elk River has been forced to make changes in order to continue service to the county,” says R. David Hill, D.O., medical director and physician for Elk River Health. “It is with pleasure we are able to announce our merger with the Ozarks Community Hospital health system.  This move will provide the Elk River Health clinics in McDonald County with the economic security needed to survive the future challenges on the immediate horizon.”

The Elk River Health clinics cover care for more than 7,500 patients in the McDonald County area. R. David Hill, D.O. will continue as medical director of the clinics until 2021; after which OCH will continue serving residents in McDonald County.

“Our health system continues to look for opportunities to expand in rural areas as a way to support our passion for serving the underserved and providing access to care,” says Andrea Harp, senior communications manager of the OCH Health System. “Acquiring these clinics fit our mission and model for growth. McDonald County data has shown high rates of obesity, diabetes, hypertension and includes more people below poverty line and food affordability than much of the state. We know we can make a difference in the community, and continue efforts to focus on serving those who need it most.”

R. David Hill, D.O. and Megan Gore Hill opened the Southwest City Clinic in 1980.  In 1994 they formed Elk River Health Services, Inc. and added the Anderson Rural Health Clinic. Both clinics became federally certified rural health clinics in 1994. In 1999 the Pineville Medical Clinic was opened and in 2007 the Goodman Family Clinic was purchased.

The OCH Health System is a safety-net organization encompassing a hospital and 17 clinics located throughout the Southwest Missouri and Northwest Arkansas area. The OCH Health System serves patients in Springfield, Nixa, Carthage, Marshfield, Noel, Bolivar, Rogersville, Sparta, Mt. Vernon and Gravette, Ark. OCH can accept Medicaid, Medicare, Tricare and other insurances. For more information, visit www.OCHonline.com.

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Jason Glass, PsyD, joins OCH Northside Behavioral Medical Clinic

August 9th, 2016

Springfield, MO – The OCH health system is pleased to welcome Jason Glass, PsyD, back to the OCH Northside Behavioral Medicine Clinic.

Dr. Glass will be available to see patients Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and on Fridays from 9 a.m. to noon. Dr. Glass will be offering neuro psych testing, external EMDR, bariatric and pain evaluations, compliance sessions and crisis intervention services. In addition to this, Dr. Glass will be working closely with Dr. Ceniceros and Dr. DelCampo to collaborate on care for Suboxone and pain management patients.

Dr. Glass received his masters and doctorate degrees from the Forest Institute of Professional Psychology in Springfield, Mo., with a concentration in neuropsychology. He previously studied at Southwest Baptist University for his bachelors in psychology. Dr. Glass has experience working for the OCH Health System in Gravette, at the OCH Medical Offices and at the OCH Northside Behavioral Medical Clinic.

To request an appointment with Dr. Glass at the OCH of Northside Clinic, please call 417-837-4043 or fax 417-875-4773.

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