Supes discuss possible hospital changes

By Amanda McBride The Choctaw Plaindealer

The Choctaw County Board of Supervisors discussed possibly changing the planned procedure room into a surgery room at the new hospital in their May 31 board meeting.

The final approved plans of the new hospital include a procedure room instead of a surgery room. Pioneer Health Systems officials say it was supposed to be a surgery room from the beginning. They had architects redesign the room and the Department of Health approved it as a surgery room.

The first cost estimate from the contractor for the purposed changes was approximately $500,000.

Pioneer officials stated several times in the meeting that they informed P&M officials that the procedure room needed to be a surgery room before bids was taken to build the new hospital and medical office building.

Maxey Peterson with Pryor & Morrow came into the meeting and said the new estimate for the changes to the procedure room is $387,000. He said P&M revises plans until the building is what the client approves.

“We work for the Board of Supervisors, we take direction from ya’ll,” said Peterson. Joe McNulty, CEO of Pioneer, said that surgery procedures is where they make their revenue and “that price is not up for discussion” about the changes to the procedure/surgery room.

McNulty and Peterson had a heated argument about how and when plans for the new hospital and medical office building were changed, approved and the roles of the architects and engineers.

District 3 Supervisor Chris McIntire said, “bottom line is they have to have it (surgery).” District 2 Supervisor Larry McClain added, “No the bottom line is how it is going to be paid for.”

McIntire agreed stating that the supervisors have “gone over and above to make this (hospital) possible and that the county “don’t have the resources or funds to do this, bottom line.”

After a break waiting on a call from Pryor & Morrow, McIntire said in the meeting that “we (supervisors) need revenue coming in from Pioneer to pay for it (surgery).”

McNulty said Pioneer cannot because they are “maxed out right now.”

No action was taken on the possible changes to the procedure room to make it a surgery room in this meeting.