Hospital in rural western Oklahoma could reopen sooner than originally thought
Clinton residents may not have to wait as long as originally anticipated for their hospital to reopen. The hospital might be able to open without upgrades to the facility.
Since the beginning of the year, the city of Clinton has been without a hospital after the company managing it pulled out and canceled state and federal licenses to operate the facility.
Recently, the city hired a new consultant to work on getting the hospital reopened. The Clinton Daily News reports Northeast Oklahoma Management Services Consultant Mike Thomas is in talks with the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) to allow the hospital to meet the existing standards of its previously terminated license, rather than the standards for a new hospital.
Thomas referred to a letter from the Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) that outlines eligibility for Existing Occupancy requirements, which could be applicable to the Clinton hospital.
The letter says that "buildings constructed before July 5, 2016, can meet Existing Occupancy requirements. In addition, buildings that receive design approval or building permits for construction before July 5, 2016, can meet Existing Occupancy requirements."
If OSDH agrees, the facility would only need to meet the codes from the 1970s when the hospital was originally opened.
The newspaper reported by meeting the existing requirements, the hospital could avoid $6.2 million in upgrades estimated to take 15-18 months.