TULSA, Okla.-Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corp. has formed a joint venture with Hillcrest Health System to build a new community hospital in south Tulsa. Neither a bed count nor a budget for the project has been determined yet, said Melissa Bogle, spokeswoman for Hillcrest, nor has a site been selected. A new hospital in the area would aid managed-care contracting for both Columbia and Hillcrest, Bogle said. "There is currently one hospital in south Tulsa," she said. "The rest are on the north side." The existing facility is 621-bed Saint Francis Hospital. The new facility must be approved by the boards of both Columbia and Hillcrest. The joint venture would be split 50-50 by the two entities. Not-for-profit Hillcrest is the largest hospital system in Tulsa. It controls 607-bed Hillcrest Medical Center, 108-bed Children's Medical Center and 75-bed Cushing (Okla.) Regional Hospital. It's negotiating to assume control of 84-bed Eastern Oklahoma Medical Center in Poteau. Columbia has one hospital in town, a 345-bed osteopathic facility, Columbia Tulsa Regional Medical Center, which it purchased in early 1996. Columbia has nine hospitals and three surgery centers in Oklahoma,
KANSAS CITY, Mo.-Kaiser Permanente's planned purchase of a Kansas City PPO has fallen through. Kaiser had earlier announced that it was negotiating with Preferred Health Professionals, a hospital-owned PPO with 95,000 enrollees in Kansas and Missouri. Kaiser will continue to offer PHP to employers as part of a "dual-choice option" beside its staff-model HMO. Kaiser has about 54,000 enrollees in the area. Sylvia Dochterman, PHP's president, was "disappointed" that negotiations with Kaiser didn't reach the desired conclusion. She said PHP "will continue to explore various partnership opportunities."