Memorial’s plan to take mobile MRI to Ocean Springs met with opposition

Memorial’s plan to take mobile MRI to Ocean Springs met with opposition

OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - Plans are in the works for Gulfport based Memorial Hospital to take a mobile MRI unit one day a week to Ocean Springs, but But Singing River Hospital executives and Jackson County leaders aren’t happy about it.

According to a statement from Memorial Hospital CEO Kent Nicaud, an effort is underway to ensure their patients have access to diagnostic services as close to their homes as possible.

“Memorial physicians treat patients across the Coast, and we are committed to ensuring our patients have access to diagnostic services they need as close to their homes as possible. This would also allow the results to be included in their Memorial electronic health record. The requested mobile MRI unit will provide convenient access to patients one day per week at our Memorial Multi-Specialty Clinic located at 90 Industrial Park Circle in Ocean Springs.  It will provide services the other six days a week at our main hospital campus in Gulfport.”
Memorial Hospital & Physician Clinics President/CEO Kent Nicaud

Memorial is requesting for the state to grant a Certificate of Need to allow them to set up the mobile MRI unit in Ocean Springs.

Jackson County Supervisor Randy Bosarge doesn’t think it’s a good idea, and the Board of Supervisors is asking the Department of Health to block Memorial’s plans. Bosarge said it would bring unnecessary competition to Singing River.

“This is a community based hospital, and therefore the community has a stake in this hospital. And if you bring other entities that are doing the same thing we do, then the [Jackson County] community is going to lose out on potential revenue for their hospital to go somewhere else to another hospital,” said Bosarge.

According to Singing River CEO Lee Bond, his facilities currently house six MRI’s, and right now he doesn’t see the need for any more in the county.

“We’re only using 62% of our capacity, so certainly we could do a lot more if we needed to,” Bond said.

The Mississippi Department of Health defines the Certificate of Need as a process designed to increase accessibility and quality of health services while avoiding unnecessary costs.

Bond doesn't believe Memorial meets the requirements.

“It’s to prevent an entity from coming in and siphoning off the insured patients and leaving a county like Jackson County footing the bill for only the uninsured and the indigents,” said Bond.

Bosarge said he’d like for Memorial to focus on taking care of Harrison County residents and leave Jackson County to Singing River.

“When you have two community hospitals, they shouldn’t be competing against each other. They should be working together,” said Bosarge.

Despite the Jackson County opposition, the Harrison County Board of Supervisors on Monday approved a letter of support for Memorials's Certificate of Need application.

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