A definitive lease agreement has been signed between Muskogee Community Hospital and Capella Healthcare, according to a media release from Capella.
Capella, which leases and operates Muskogee Regional Medical Center, is scheduled to enter into a long-term lease of MCH and assume management of the 45-bed hospital as early as July 1, the release says.
“While there are still a number of conditions that need to be met prior to our finalizing the affiliation, this is one more milestone in our progress,” said Michael Wiechart, chief operating officer of Capella Healthcare, in the release.
MRMC spokeswoman Christina Deidesheimer said the hospital had no other information to offer “at this time.”
Muskogee Community Hospital first released a media notice in July 2011 that said the two hospitals had signed a “letter of intent.”
Capella announced March 14 the two hospitals were making “significant” progress toward a partnership.
On March 21, Capella acquired Muskogee Radiation Therapy Associates (MRTA), a free-standing cancer center located on the campus of Muskogee Community Hospital.
Muskogee Community Hospital began taking patients in March 2009.
MCH President Mark Roberts could not be reached Wednesday for comment.
Capella Healthcare began a 40-year lease of Muskogee Regional Medical Center, which is owned by the city, in 2007.
The agreement provided millions of dollars to the City of Muskogee Foundation.
City officials created the City of Muskogee Foundation as a nonprofit corporation from the net proceeds of the agreement.
“Following months of discussions, during which a variety of options were explored, we are pleased to finalize our agreement,” Wiechart said in the release. “The goal of our collaboration is to be able to better meet the health care needs of Muskogee and the surrounding communities, as we respond to the call for closer collaboration between providers under health care reform.”
Wiechart said such collaborations are taking place throughout the United States in preparation for “the era of health care reform.”
“By combining the operations of these two facilities, we know that we will be in a better position to serve our community,” he said.
Reach Wendy Burton at (918) 684-2926 or wburton @muskogeephoenix.com.