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.
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/.
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