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June 12, 2014

DRH head addresses Affordable Health Care Act

DUNCAN — The head of Duncan Regional Hospital said Wednesday the facility is facing $2 million in Medicare and Medicaid reductions under the Affordable Health Care Act.

“The reduced payments are really having an impact on our health care system and our citizens,  and communities need to tune in and listen to the decision the politicians are making that will affect our health care,” Jay Johnson said Wednesday in remarks to the Duncan Rotary Club.

On average, 7.2 percent of the GDP is spent on social security and major health care programs. Johnson demonstrated through a graph in his powerpoint that by 2023, the average amount spent on social security and major health care programs will have increased to 11.8 percent.

With the health care reform underway, DRH, a non-profit hospital, is facing $1 million reductions in Medicare and $1 million reductions in Medicaid.

Johnson, the hospital director,  the hospital is continuing to reduce operating costs, expand specialty service availability, grow a larger primary care base and remain independent while partnering with other hospitals.

He said he will ensure that patients’ experience at DRH is different from what competing facilities offer because of the compassion,  service and state-of-the-art technology that is offered.  Currently, about 60 percent of the hospital’s net revenue is from outpatient care, Johnson noted.

Recent expansions and additions to the hospital include the Joint Replacement Center, cardiac rehab, DRH Wound Center, DRH Sleep Center, DRH imaging and new mammography technology.

DRH is also an associate in the Cancer Centers for Southwest Oklahoma, which includes Comanche Memorial Hospital in Lawton and Jackson County Memorial Hospital in Altus. DRH now has an advanced medical supply store located close to its campus. These additions and expansions are another way the hospital is combatting the budget cuts.

Johnson said he wants  patients to say no other hospital is like Duncan Regional. Ultimately, his goal is to make patients comfortable while also having extensive medical technology to take care of the community’s needs.

Johnson also recognized the 10 newest physicians who have began working for DRH in the last four years. These physicians have specialties in different areas, including cardiology, family medicine, radiology, ENT and urology. Two of these physicians, Dr. Chandra Ojha, a cardiologist, and Dr. Krystal Vonfeldt, a family medicine practitioner, will be joining the staff in August.

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