Moberly Hospitals Won't Sign Agreement

1 decade 9 months 2 weeks ago December 14, 2005 Dec 14, 2005 Wednesday, December 14 2005 Wednesday, December 14, 2005 2:08:49 PM CST in News

Moberly Regional Medical Center refuses to sign an agreement to send some of its patients to Moberly's new surgery center.  Now, a state Senator says he's had enough.  And he's taking sides.  The Surgery Center is on life support waiting for financial CPR.  It's an emergency for Moberly's Surgery Center-not enough patients to stay open.  The hospital down the road- Moberly Regional Medical Center- refuses to share.

The big argument is that Moberly Regional won't sign the transfer agreement to allow its patients to be treated at the new Surgery Center.  Moberly Regional says the Surgery Center only wants the agreement because they want to take Moberly Regional's highest payingn patients.  The Surgery Center says they need the transfer agreement to get enough patients to stay open.

"These physicians are trying to skim off the best paying patients, and by doing that they can jeopardize services at a community hospital," Moberly Regional CEO Harold Siglar says.

Jeff Turk runs the Surgery Center and says Moberly Regional's CEO cares only about money, not patients.

"These are investor physicians who don't want the Medicaids, they don't want the uninsureds, they want the best paying patients," Siglar says.

"Here if someone is down on their luck or has financial hardship, we'll do it for free," Turk says.

No one's budging.  Now Senator Chuck Graham says he has a cure.  A proposed law that would give the Surgery Center more transfer patients and doctors and potentially take patients from Moberly Regional.

"I don't think he should be using a loophole in the state law to limit competition," Graham says.

The Surgery Center wants to fill 30 beds each day compared to seven or fewer it sees now.  Turk has a final plea to Siglar.

"I think you should dedicate life to improving medical care in this community," Turk says.

Still, Moberly Regional says any lost patients will force it to limit services to all its patients.  The Surgery Center opened in July and employs about 20 people.

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