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Resuscitated ...Doctors Hospital gains state regulatory approval

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by Karen E. Culp

and Paul Flemming

SBJ Staff

The old is new again and, if projections hold true, the new will show profits of $1.3 million by 2002.

Doctors Hospital of Springfield June 28 won state regulatory approval to open a 45-bed hospital on North National.

The Missouri Health Facilities Review Committee granted the hospital's certificate of need at its regular meeting in Jefferson City.

John Moran, administrator for the hospital, said nearly $330,000 in remodeling has already begun on the property. About 45,000 square feet of the 75,000-square-foot building will be used for the hospital. Almost $200,000 in medical equipment expenses will be required before the hospital opens. Doctors Hospital will also operate an urgent-care facility.

The construction work to repair the roof, expand two operating rooms and other changes, including general sprucing up, will take about 2 1/2 months to meet the hospital's regulatory and operational requirements, Moran said. Jim Latimer of Joplin is the architect. There will be no general contractor, as those duties will be handled by hospital administrative staff, Moran said.

He said he is interviewing to fill key staff positions including various directors and business-office managers. Dave Zinn will be general services manager. Zinn served as director of engineering during the 1980s when the building was Springfield General Hospital.

In its application to the state, Doctors Hospital estimates operating revenues of $11 million in 2000, with projections of $15.5 million in total operating revenues by 2002. With those figures, the application forecast profits of $729,183 before taxes in its first full year, growing to profits of $1.3 million by 2002.

The physicians involved with the hospital remain the same: a group of about 35 independent physicians who are also owners of the hospital's operating entity. Ten physicians who had an equity stake in the local Columbia Hospitals, which sold out to Cox Health Systems in 1998, remain the owners of the hospital.

The facility was last used as an acute-care hospital in 1997 when Columbia Hospitals owned it. As part of the deal with Cox, the hospital was sold back to the 10 local owner doctors with their $2 million share of the Columbia sale. In addition, Cox agreed to cede the license to 45 of its acute-care hospital beds. Thus, the Doctors Hospital application resulted in no net gain in acute-care beds licensed in Springfield.

Among the elements of the deal with Cox:

?Up to $3 million in loans from Cox.

?Return of all the equipment inventory that was in the building in 1997 when it was operated as a hospital. (Some of the equipment was moved by Columbia to what is now, after the acquisition, Cox Walnut Lawn on South National.)

?Inclusion of the 10 owner doctors, and other independent physicians at the hospital who meet qualifying criteria, in Cox's managed-care system.

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