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2019 Sports Physicals

March 19th, 2019

Gravette, Mo. – Ozarks Community Hospital (OCH) is offering their annual sports physical promotion for children ages 5-18 years of age.

Physicals are available Monday through Friday and are available by phone call appointment from the following OCH clinics in:

Please contact individual offices for availability. Sports physicals determine the readiness of student athletes to participate and are required prior to involvement in school athletics or other competitive sports.

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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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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OCH expands radiology equipment in Springfield hospital to better serve patients

September 22nd, 2015

Springfield, Mo. – The Ozarks Community Hospital health system announces comprehensive radiology equipment upgrades, now offering expanded services and radiology exams in North Springfield.

With the addition of new equipment, OCH now offers radiology services directly comparable to other local health systems. The upgraded equipment provides better safety for patients due to lower dose radiation and expedited exams.

In addition to the existing MRI, nuclear medicine, DEXA, fluoroscopy, x-ray and other general radiology services, OCH Springfield is now home to an upgraded Siemens 64-slice Computed Tomography (CT) scanner and an upgraded Siemens S2000 ultrasound machine.

The new CT equipment can perform additional tests, including:
• Coronary Computed Tomography Angiography: A heart imaging tests that helps determine if plaque buildup has narrowed arteries.
• Low Dose Lung Screening: This screening meets CMS guidelines for a lung cancer screening.
• Cardiac Calcium Scoring: This is a quick, painless, noninvasive procedure to accurately determine the degree and severity of hard plaque within the coronary arteries.

The new ultrasound equipment increases image quality for the patient and ease of use for the technologist.

“The addition of the new equipment systemwide, and specifically at the Springfield hospital, allows us to better serve our patients,” explains OCH of Springfield hospital administrator Todd Lutes. “Not only does this allow us to better understand patients’ health conditions, but it helps us achieve our mission to provide exceptional healthcare to all patients and improve access to care in underserved communities.”

As part of the technology upgrades, the OCH Christian County Clinic in Nixa now houses a new Siemens 16-slice CT scanner. This CT equipment allows patients to stay at the Nixa clinic for a same-day exam versus having to schedule an appointment at an alternate location. The expedited timeline will also allow patients to receive the results of their test in the same day. The Nixa facility continues to offer existing radiology services including ultrasound, DEXA, and x-ray.

The OCH of Gravette, Ark. hospital has also seen vast upgrades in equipment this summer providing the only all-digital radiology department in that region.

For more information or scheduling, call radiology at OCH of Springfield at 417-837-4040 or radiology at the OCH Christian County Clinic at 417-724-3174.

The OCH health system encompasses two hospitals and 18 clinics located throughout Southwest Missouri and Northwest Arkansas area with locations in the following communities: Springfield, Nixa, Webb City, Carthage, Marshfield, Noel, Bolivar, Rogersville, Sparta, Mt. Vernon and Gravette, Ark. OCH can accept Medicaid, Medicare, UHC Military and other insurances. For more information, visit www.OCHonline.com.

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OCH to host free Medicare 101 event in north Springfield

August 7th, 2015

Springfield, MO – Ozarks Community Hospital is partnering with CLAIM, the Missouri State Health Insurance Assistance Program, to offer a free Medicare 101 event on Thursday, August 20 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The event is free and open to the public and will include a complimentary lunch and panel of experts. It will take place at 2828 N. National.

Experts will be available to answer questions about enrolling for Medicare and offer guidance on how to lower insurance costs and maximize benefits. The panel will also elaborate on what happens behind the scenes with claims, share information about how prescriptions are affected by selected plans and help attendees prepare for open enrollment.

“This free education event is ideal for all Medicare-eligible individuals or anyone who works closely with Medicare-eligible individuals,” says Andrea Harp, communications manager. “It’s a great opportunity for attendees to access a variety of insurance, billing, and assistance leads, all in one place.”

Individuals who attend can also schedule financial assistance screenings with onsite CLAIM volunteers, if interested.

For more information, or to R.S.V.P. call 417-837-4279 or email [email protected]

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OCH nurse practitioners honored by Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce and Springfield Business Journal

September 12th, 2011
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, September 12, 2011
Contact: Carrie Richardson, Director of Communications
Office: (417) 874-4503 Cell: (417) 576-3968

Springfield, Mo. – The Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce and Springfield Business Journal recognize OCH nurse practitioners Beverly Jo Gann and Leta Barnes as Health Care Champion honorees. Both will be celebrated at the Salute to Health Care banquet on Oct. 27 at 6 pm in Springfield.

Beverly Gann, WHNP has worked in the OCH women’s health clinic since 2002 and has more than 14 years experience working in women’s health. She received her education from the St. John’s School of Nursing and the University of Missouri at St. Louis, Barnes School of Nursing.

Beverly Gann, WHNP and patient Danielle. To hear to Danielle’s full patient testimonial click here.

“I have a lot of experience where professional people have discriminated against me because of my weight,” says patient Danielle. “But [Beverly] just sits down and talks to you. She even asks you about your day. It’s not just about the doctor… she asks you how you are doing and actually has a conversation with you. I think that’s important to have the connection between patients and doctors, because if you can’t be comfortable with your doctor, you’re not going to get very far with communication.”

Leta (Hohl) Barnes, PNP has worked at OCH since 2002. She has more than 20 years experience working as a pediatric nurse. She received her nursing degree from Southwest Baptist University and her Master of Science in nursing in 1998 at Missouri State University.

Leta (Hohl) Barnes, PNP caring for a child at Ozarks Community Hospital.

“When Leta joined the team at Ozarks Community Hospital, she jumped in with both feet and immediately found herself driven to help the children of families suffering from methamphetamine addictions and the struggles that come with it,” says friend, Melanie. “With Leta’s love for her community, deep compassion for children and even her hugs she has gained the trust of these children. This has allowed the children the ability to talk and share their stories and need with a care giver.”

Beverly and Leta were selected by an independent panel of judges: Dr. Nanette Crighton, Crighton Aesthetic Studio; Kevin Gipson, Springfield-Greene County Health Department; Stephen Hall, American Heart Association; Gordon Kinne, Med-Pay Inc,; and Robert Lunn, Ph.D., The Health Commission.

Ozarks Community Hospital is a 45-bed acute care provider-based facility located in Springfield, Missouri, just off Interstate 44 between North National Avenue and North Glenstone Avenue. In addition to a wide range of services, including a 24-Hour Emergency Room and variety of specialists, OCH operates another hospital in Northwest Arkansas and 14 clinics serving communities throughout the Ozarks. Visit OCH at www.OCHonline.com.

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$15 Sports Physicals Available at OCH and Clinics

June 14th, 2011

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  June 14, 2011                

 Contact: Carrie Richardson, Director of Communications
417-874-4503 office, 417-576-3968 cell

(Springfield, MO) Ozarks Community Hospital will be offering $15 sports physicals throughout June, July and August to individuals ages 5-18 years.

Physicals will be available Monday through Friday and can be scheduled by phone from the following OCH providers in Springfield:

  • Wm. Lewis McKay, DO – (417) 837-4065
  • Mindy Kendrick, FNP – (417) 837-4065
  • Gloria Kirk, FNP – (417) 837-4065
  • Leta (Hohl) Barnes, PNP – (417) 837-4065
  • Dennis Morrison, DO - (417) 874-4510
  • Don Maples, DO – (417) 837-4003

Sports physicals will also be available throughout August at participating outlying clinic locations:

Contact individual outlying clinics for availability.

Sports physicals determine the readiness of student athletes to participate and are required prior to involvement in school athletics or other competitive sports, including Mighty Mites.

Ozarks Community Hospital is a 45-bed acute care provider-based facility located in Springfield, Mo. just off Interstate 44 between National Avenue and North Glenstone. Expanded outpatient services provided include clinics servicing the Medicare and Medicaid population, a specialty clinic and a 24-hour ER. Visit www.OCHonline.com for more information.

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OCH sending help, thoughts and prayers to tornado victims

May 27th, 2011

Our thoughts and prayers go out to those who lost more than lives this past weekend. We are deeply moved by the Joplin tragedy and remain committed to helping the people of Joplin recover throughout the next weeks, months and years. We continue to offer our thoughts and prayers for the medical community as they work tirelessly to provide care to those injured in the tornado. Without their dedication, the recovery effort wouldn’t be possible.  

Ozarks Community Hospital (2828 N. National in Springfield) continues to remain open to assist the community and victims of the recent tornado in Joplin.

In addition, the OCH Jasper Clinic located in Webb City is open to see patients. This medical clinic traditionally sees primary care patients but will be taking non critical walk-ins during the disaster response. The clinic is located downtown at 112 N. Webb St. Medical and providers will be available to treat patients Monday through Friday from 9 am to 5 pm. If you have questions, you may contact 417-673-0366.

All OCH employees living in the Joplin area have been accounted for. We will continue to meet the medical and physical needs of employees, their family members and our patients.

OCH is forming volunteer groups to provide disaster relief after the first responders and those on site now have been exhausted.   OCH plans to schedule several trips to support the community in the coming weeks and months.

Visit www.OCHonline.com for more information.

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