Ozarks Medical Center (OMC) in West Plains, Mo., and Fulton County Hospital (FCH) have entered into an affiliation agreement to enhance health care in the hospitals' service areas.
FCH is a 25-bed, critical access facility that provides emergency, inpatient and outpatient services.
The agreement provides FCH with network collaboration with a larger health care organization, which is required as part of its designation as a Critical Access Hospital. The agreement is an opportunity for the two health care organizations to work together in order to provide quality care and better to serve the people of the region.
"Our two organizations are a wonderful match," said FCH administrator Joe Hammond. "We are both committed to continually improving and to providing quality medical services to the people of this region."
OMC President and CEO David Zechman agreed.
"Both OMC and FCH are committed to providing the most compassionate, high quality care possible," Zechman said. "We are excited about working closely with FCH's medical staff and employees in this new partnership in health care."
Under the agreement, OMC will work with FCH serving as a point of reference and resource for its credentialing and quality assurance programs. OMC's role includes providing support to FCH's credentialing process as it grants medical privileges to physicians and mid-level practitioners who practice at the hospital. In addition, OMC will work with FCH on quality assurance, which includes providing assistance in reviewing the diagnosis and treatments provided at FCH.
FCH, which was established in 1963, is one of 29 hospitals in Arkansas designated as a Critical Access Hospital (CAH). The CAH program establishes rural health networks, which can provide outpatient, emergency and limited inpatient services. CAHs are required to meet certain staffing requirements and enter into an affiliation with a larger acute care hospital to ensure the quality of services.
OMC is a 114-bed, not-for-profit medical referral center serving an 11-county area in south central Missouri and north central Arkansas. OMC employs approximately 1,000 people and serves a population base of 150,000.