Hospitals offer a vital indicator of fiscal health
University, Boone are network centerpieces.
Published Sunday, June 17, 2007
Columbia boasts top-notch health-care services that attract patients from across Missouri. There are three hospital systems in the city, which are owned by the University of Missouri, Boone County and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
Health care is critical to the economy of Columbia, where about one in six people work in a health-related profession.
Housed at the west entrance of the Sanford-Kimpton Health Department Building, the public health service provides services that include immunizations for children and adults, Women, Infants and Children (WIC) services, family planning, assistance with utilities and social services, and testing for sexually transmitted diseases.
The department also issues certified copies of birth and death certificates, inspects restaurants and operates the area’s Animal Control division.
The Family Health Center in the Sanford-Kimpton Building’s east entrance, 1001 W. Worley St., serves the medical needs of local residents who have no medical insurance or are underinsured. For information, call 214-2314.
The building also is home to the city’s Office of Community Services.
Boone Hospital Center
Boone Hospital Center is a county-owned not-for-profit managed by St. Louis-based BJC HealthCare.
The original 40-bed hospital opened in 1921. Voters in 1955 agreed to fund a $3 million, 200-bed expansion that was completed in 1959. Significant additional expansions to the structure and patient-care services were made throughout the 1970s. Today the hospital has 375 beds.
The hospital’s five-member board of trustees, a publicly elected body, leased out management of the hospital in 1988. Last year, the trustees had the option to end the hospital lease with BJC HealthCare and either operate the hospital independently or bring in another lessee or management group. Months of debate on the topic ended as the trustees decided to stay with BJC as lessee.
But the lease agreement was altered to target more money toward construction and equipment improvements at the hospital. The new lease runs through 2015.
The Boone campus continues to grow along Broadway in east Columbia. North of Broadway, between William Street and Old 63, the hospital expects to complete the Broadway Medical Plaza 4 building and an adjacent parking structure this year.
South of Broadway, the hospital is readying plans to build a new patient tower that will add 128 new beds. The hospital will also build a new parking garage with this project. Fundraising continues for the hospital’s planned Intergenerational Daycare Center. The center will be the first health-care center in the state to bring together day care for young children and senior citizens. It’s scheduled to open in August 2008.
Boone Hospital specializes in cardiology, neurology, orthopedics, obstetrics and oncology. Patrons can also donate to the hospital’s charitable foundation and the Walter Johnson Palliative Care Foundation.
In 2005, the hospital became the first Mid-Missouri facility to receive the Magnet designation from the American Nurses Credentialing Center, and it also was honored as one of the nation’s top 100 hospitals by Solucient, a health-care research and information company based in Evanston, Ill.
Boone Hospital Center has a physician referral service, available at 815-6400 or (800) 872-9008. The hospital’s Internet site is www.boone.org.
University of Missouri Health Care
University Hospital is a 280-bed, tertiary-care center that provides a full range of medical and surgical services. It is the only Level 1 Trauma Center in Mid-Missouri and the only Level 1 trauma facility in the state that cares for both children and adults. University Hospital also has a diabetes center, an ophthalmology institute and the only burn intensive-care unit in Mid-Missouri. In 2006, the system opened a Center for Advanced Techniques in Surgery and a Center for Digestive Health.
University Hospital was established as Parker Hospital in 1901. Money for Parker Hospital was donated by St. Louis beer baron Adolphus Busch and Columbia businessman William Parker, with the aim of giving hands-on experience to medical students at the University of Missouri-Columbia.
In 1956, the university assumed control of the hospital, combining the operations of Parker Hospital and the 1923 Noyes Hospital.
These days, services at MU Health are distributed among three Columbia facilities: University Hospital, Ellis Fischel Cancer Center and Columbia Regional Hospital. MU Health purchased Columbia Regional in 1999.
The system also includes University Physicians, a 450-member physician practice, and a long-term acute-care facility, Missouri Rehabilitation Center in Mount Vernon. Affiliates of MU Health include Rusk Rehabilitation Center, operated by HealthSouth Corp.; Capital Region Medical Center in Jefferson City; and Cooper County Memorial Hospital in Boonville.
MU Health has struggled financially for several years and lost nearly $40 million between fiscal 2000 and 2002. In late 2000 and early 2001, hospital officials embarked on a plan to attack the deficit by laying off some employees, improving billing procedures and realigning some hospital services.
The university system in 2002 hired a private medical management firm, The Hunter Group, to run MU Health and restore the system to profitability. The group fostered a turnaround based on changes in management and accountability practices and recruited nearly 50 new faculty members. In 2003, MU Health reported more than $8 million in profits. Hunter Management handed control back to MU in spring 2004.
In fiscal 2006, the system continued its financial turnaround by posting earnings of $33.1 million after posting $33.6 million the previous year.
CEO Jim Ross this spring presented a draft plan to overhaul the system that would take 15 years and cost $240 million for the first building phase.
The three-phase plan would begin by adding 15 operating rooms, 70 private beds and 32 adult intensive-care unit and step-down beds in a new surgery tower at University Hospital; upgrading Children’s Hospital pediatric intensive-care unit and converting all pediatric patient rooms to private; relocating and expanding Ellis Fischel Cancer Center; buying major medical equipment; and building an MU Health-affiliated Orthopaedic Institute with six outpatient operating rooms, an MRI, three radiology rooms, 10 inpatient beds and a pharmacy.
Columbia Regional Hospital
Columbia Regional Hospital, which Tenet Healthcare sold to MU Health in 1999, opened its doors in December 1974. In 1989, the hospital broadened its operations by building a new outpatient surgery facility that completes many procedures without overnight stays. It has 210 beds.
In 1997 the hospital opened the Health Pavilion, which houses the Institute for Outpatient Surgery. The IOS is now owned and operated by a joint venture between MU, a group of local doctors led by the Columbia Orthopaedic Group and a Kansas City-based health management firm.
MU bought Columbia Regional Hospital for $34.55 million, paying nearly $20 million more than the $15 million bid by Boone Hospital Center. In 2001, the university closed the 20-bed skilled nursing unit at Regional Hospital to save about $795,000 annually.
Four years ago, Columbia Regional became the birthing center for University Hospital’s nearly 1,400 annual births. University curators in July 2001 approved the $5.8 million project to consolidate the birthing center and obstetrics clinics at the hospital. The Family Birth Center opened in 2003.
In 2006, MU Health expanded its orthopedic services at Columbia Regional, opening the Missouri Spine Center and the Missouri Hip and Knee Center.
Ellis Fischel Cancer Center
Ellis Fischel Cancer Center opened in 1940 as the only cancer center west of the Mississippi River and the second in the nation. In 1976, the state-run hospital expanded operations with a new wing, and in 1990, Ellis Fischel merged with MU.
All of the center’s oncology care — including gynecology, urology, orthopedics, dermatology and general surgery — is offered on an outpatient basis. In 2000, Inpatient services relocated to University Hospital as part of the restructuring. In 2004, Ellis Fischel was designated Missouri’s official state cancer center. Outreach services to underserved areas of Missouri include screening offered through two mammography vans. In 2005, the Margaret Proctor Mulligan Breast Health and Research Program was established at Ellis Fischel to provide centralized screening, diagnosis, treatment and post-operative recovery and support services. In 2006, a palliative-care program providing end-of-life care was begun.
Rusk Rehabilitation Center
Rusk Rehabilitation Center began in 1968 as a wing of McHaney Hall, a former dormitory at MU. In 1991, Rusk became a separate hospital in the university system. It features a 60-bed center next to Ellis Fischel. The 80,000-square-foot, $16.7 million facility is a joint effort between the university and Birmingham, Ala.-based HealthSouth Corp.
Rusk provides specialized treatments for brain injury, stroke, arthritis, spinal cord injury, chronic pain and industrial injury. Its treatment focus is helping patients learn to manage their disabilities by combining individual skills with special types of equipment or assistance. Special emphasis is placed on pediatrics.
Truman Memorial Veterans Hospital
Dedicated in 1972 and serving 45 counties, Truman Memorial Veterans Hospital is the health-care hub for more than 30,000 U.S. armed services veterans. It is also a regional referral center for veterans who need cardiac surgery and cardiology care. The 118-bed hospital has sharing agreements with MU Health and other local providers for some specialized health-care services.
A veteran’s eligibility is based on whether an ailment is connected to military service and financial need. A majority of care at the hospital is outpatient.
The hospital operates clinics at Fort Leonard Wood and in Kirksville, Camdenton, Mexico, Mo., and St. James. About 900 health-care students affiliated with several different educational institutions annually receive some training at the facility. The hospital’s Web site is www.va.gov/cmo.
Mental health services
Mid-Missouri Mental Health Center, 3 Hospital Drive, provides inpatient care in its 69-bed facility. Patients are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis, with the exception of court-ordered commitments. Call 884-1300.
The center split in 1993 to form a separate entity called University Behavioral Health Services.
In March, Burrell Health of Springfield assumed ownership of UBH from MU Health. MU Health officials put UBH’s operations up for sale last year, and Burrell, with a bid of $681,900, was selected from among several firms that wanted to take over the network.
UBH is an outpatient network that includes two clinics in Columbia — one for adults at Parkade Center and one for children off Green Meadows Road — and eight clinics throughout Mid-Missouri. The network employs 136 and serves about 3,000 patients annually. Call 884-1400.
Additionally, there are dozens of mental health professionals in private practice in Missouri.
To search for a therapist or learn about various disorders and treatments, visit www.healingarts-online.com. Healing Arts Online is designed and maintained by senior psychiatry residents from MU. The site provides scientifically accurate and up-to-date information while maintaining an independent editorial stance.
Copyright © 2007 The Columbia Daily Tribune. All Rights Reserved.