Physician-owned specialty ventures have created lucrative opportunities in Tulsa, Oklahoma, which lacks a publicly funded hospital and has a high rate of uninsured, HealthLeaders-InterStudy, a leading provider of managed care industry intelligence, has found. According to the latest issue of the Tulsa Market Overview, declining reimbursement rates and increasing costs may only spur physicians to invest more in their own hospitals, diagnostic centers, and equipment.

"More than half of Tulsa's physicians are specialists, and most of them belong to independent single specialty groups such as cardiology, orthopedics, and anesthesiology," said Patrick Powers, HealthLeaders-InterStudy senior analyst. "Many of them have become owners of specialty hospitals, like Tulsa Spine Hospital, Orthopedic Hospital of Oklahoma, and Saint Francis Heart Hospital. They already dominate the market for certain high-end services, and their market dominance will only grow."

Such groups increasingly employ primary-care physicians to create a referral system and manage costly patient hospital stays.

  Other news about the Tulsa healthcare market:   * Two national insurers, UnitedHealth Group and Health Care Service Corp.,     have recently entered the Tulsa insurance market, which is expected to     increase competition.   * Oklahoma's Medicaid program, SoonerCare, saw a Tulsa-area enrollment     drop of 13 percent in 2004, as providers, angered by low     reimbursements, stopped accepting Medicaid patients.   * Small employers represent 80 percent of Tulsa's workforce, as opposed to     61 percent nationally, increasing the difficulties of providing     employer-based health insurance.    About Market Overviews 

Market Overviews provides a detailed analysis of local healthcare markets, allowing healthcare businesses to plan their local strategies.

About HealthLeaders-InterStudy

HealthLeaders-InterStudy, a company of Decision Resources, Inc. (http://www.decisionresources.com/), is the authoritative source for managed care data, analysis, and news. For more information, please visit http://www.healthleaders-interstudy.com/.

All company, brand, or product names contained in this document may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.

  For more information, contact:    Alex Jablokow    Decision Resources    781-296-2562    ajablokow@dresources.com 

SOURCE: HealthLeaders-InterStudy

CONTACT: Alex Jablokow of Decision Resources, +1-781-296-2562,
ajablokow@dresources.com

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