Health Care Reform Halts Construction of Oklahoma Hospital - - Oklahoma City, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports |

Health Care Reform Halts Construction of Oklahoma Hospital

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By Jennifer Pierce, NEWS 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- McBride Orthopedic Hospital was set to break ground on a 1,500 foot expansion of the hospital in northwest Oklahoma City. The $2 million project included new operating rooms and a new intensive care unit.

Those plans came to a halt when President Obama signed the health care reform act on March 23, 2010.

The new legislation prevents physician owned hospitals from expanding. The only exception is hospitals already under construction must be finished by December 31, 2010 and have Medicare certification.

McBride's Chief Executive Officer Mark Galliart said the health care changes hurt the community, because hospital's such as McBride are now limited in expanding services and are denied future growth.

Across town, the Oklahoma Heart Hospital Southwest, also physician owned, opened just in time.

"Luckily we were able to open in January. We received our Medicare number and certification in February and the legislation passed the end of March," said John Austin, Oklahoma Heart Hospital Southwest.

But they are still locked-in with no future growth.

"The incidents for cardiovascular disease is huge in Oklahoma. The demand will increase so if you can't match the growth and demand of population to the growth of services that you can provide then it really puts the population of the community at a disadvantage," said Austin.

In Oklahoma, there are 17 physician owned hospitals, 11 are in Oklahoma City and three are in Tulsa.

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