MIDWEST CITY — The Midwest City Council and Midwest City Memorial Hospital Authority have voted to end the lease with the current operator of the Midwest Regional Medical Center.
Members of the council voted Tuesday to end the lease with Health Management Associates, which had managed the hospital since 1996.
Health Management Associates was bought by Community Health Systems earlier this week. That transaction triggered the Midwest City Memorial Hospital Authority's right to terminate its lease with the current operator.
The hospital opened in 1962 and has about 300 physicians and about 1,200 health employees. In October, Midwest City residents voted to allow the hospital authority to tap into a $50 million trust fund in an effort to improve patient care at the hospital.
Based on the terms of the current lease, the city council and authority have until Feb. 8 to serve notice to Community Health Systems that they are exercising their right of first refusal and to pay 5 percent of the appraised value of the hospital as a demonstration of good faith in regard to the termination of the lease, according to a news release from the city.
Midwest City Mayor Jack Fry said the change in management was made with the hope of improving the hospital. The Midwest City Memorial Hospital Authority also sought proposals from St. Anthony Hospital, OU Medical System and Integris. Consideration was given to the current operator as well.
“The decision was made to designate Mercy because of their responses to the request for proposals,” Fry said. “We think Mercy represents the type of health care provider that will not only bring high quality services but will also consider the impact this transition will make on the approximate 1,100 employees at our hospital.”
Mercy will be leasing the hospital from the Midwest City Memorial Hospital Authority. According to the new lease, current employees of the hospital will retain their jobs, Mercy spokeswoman Rachel Wright said.
A date of March 7 was set for transfer of management to Mercy. Between now and that date, Mercy will have an opportunity to negotiate a 30-year lease with the Midwest City Memorial Hospital Authority.
Wright said patients can expect excellent care under Mercy's management of the hospital.
“We're a strong system that is four states wide,” Wright said. “We have the technology and resources and we have a special culture that we've found in our 30 hospitals and 300 outpatient facilities that works well. If all goes as planned and when we get on the ground patients will be able to lean on those resources.”