“It’s been a very, very different year for NRHS,” Whitaker said.
The health care reform act and market dynamics in Oklahoma had already created challenges, but the health system had done OK financially and operationally during the first 10 and a half months, he said.
Under a plan to increase efficiency, the health system measured $8.1 million in savings last year. The opening of the heart plaza allowed for the consolidation of related services, which made it easier for patients to navigate.
Then, six weeks before the end of the fiscal year, the tornado hit.
The hospital board delayed approving the Fiscal Year 2014 budget because of the massive changes that are required and the revised budget will be approved soon, he said.
The health system has experienced strong staff and recruiting with 30 or 31 new physicians coming into the system. Primary care will be the driver in Affordable Care Act, he said. NRHS is in a good position for the transition.
“We’re the southern gateway into the Oklahoma City market,” Whitaker said.