McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

July 10, 2013

Hospital board agrees to $74,000 consulting contract

By Jeanne LeFlore
Staff Writer

McALESTER — The McAlester Regional Health Center Authority Board of Trustees approved a $74,000 one-year contract for consulting services during its monthly meeting Wednesday at the hospital.

The meeting was rescheduled from the previous week due to the Independence Day holiday, according to Chairperson Cara Bland.

The authority unanimously approved the service contract  with International ATMO in San Antonio Texas  to provide consulting services for the implementation and operation of a wound care hyberbaric medicine department at MRHC.

According to gwdocs.com, hyyperbaric medicine and wound care was first used as a treatment for decompression sickness and other diving accidents. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is now also used for medical and surgical conditions with periodic, short-term inhalation of 100 percent oxygen at high pressures. It is typically used to augment other treatments and enhance the body’s natural healing process, such as increasing oxygen delivery to tissues.

According to Wednesday’s agreement, the company will provide consultation, education, training, documentation, oversight and other services.

Also during the meeting, MRHC President David Keith said Medicare’s Recovery Audit Contractors are committing “legal extortion” and must be reigned in.

Keith said the American Hospital Association and other organizations agree. In his report, he quoted witnesses testifying before a Senate committee hearing that “the contractors’ increasingly aggressive and critical approach to billing ... is overwhelming hospitals and diverting resources from patient care.”

Other trustees attending Wednesday’s meeting were Secretary Don Lewis, Vice Chairman Evans McBride and trustees Drs. L.M. Milton and Mark Seghal, and Susan Kanard.

The MRHCA meets at 4 p.m. on the first Wednesday of each month in the executive board room at the hospital. The meetings are open to the public.

Contact Jeanne LeFlore at jleflore@mcalesternews.com.