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Mercy enters negotiations with OSS

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Mercy confirmed yesterday to Springfield Business Journal it had entered into negotiations with Orthopaedic Specialists of Springfield.

According to a statement, the negotiations call for OSS to possibly join the Mercy orthopedic team.

Stephen Christiansen, a longtime Springfield surgeon who has a history of recommending doctors to physicians at OSS, said last week he has been a party to persistent talk among several local physicians that Mercy was negotiating a purchase of OSS.

“It’s pretty well-known that … an agreement is supposed to have been reached,” Christiansen said. “(Mercy) is building an orthopedic hospital. Maybe (officials) are thinking they can eliminate competition, get three or four of the orthopedists they want and maybe two or three of those guys are going to retire, which would further eliminate competition.”  

According to the Mercy statement, discussions include some of the physicians working to reestablish orthopedic programs for Mercy's Joplin operation. Other surgeons also would work at Mercy in Springfield or with other providers.

Plans for the OSS building, 3045 S. National Ave., also are under discussion.

Mercy Springfield Communities spokeswoman Sonya Kullmann said it's possible that OSS physicians would be incorporated into the Mercy Orthopedic Hospital under construction at U.S. Highway 65 and Evans Road.

She referred all other questions to the statement. OSS Clinic Administrator Mary Sherrer could not be reached for comment by deadline.

Officials broke ground on the $116 million Mercy Orthopedic Hospital in July 2011, and completion is expected by August 2013. When the hospital opens, it is expected to employ about 250, according to Springfield Business Journal archives.

OSS formerly operated as Ozarks Area Orthopaedics Associates, working under the CoxHealth umbrella. The contract ended in January 2004.

Christiansen, co-owner of Ozark Medical Surgical Associates, speculated the move could be a way for Mercy to pick up some quality former CoxHealth physicians and outpace CoxHealth’s efforts to be a leader in orthopedic services.[[In-content Ad]]

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