White River Health System Preps ER for Health Care Reform

by Mark Friedman  on Monday, May. 20, 2013 12:00 am  

Gary Bebow, CEO of White River Health System, says it’s unclear what impact the health care reform will have on the Batesville hospital.  (Photo by Mark Friedman)

And the first six months of the year, the hospital’s net income is $2.6 million.

“We’ve bounced back some this year,” Bebow said.

Community Hospital

White River Medical Center is the largest employer in Independence County, said Larry Jones, director of Independence County Economic Development Inc.

“It really provides a great economic boon to our county,” he said.

The system has about 1,450 employees, while most of those — 1,250 — work at the hospital.

The hospital has a 72 percent market share in the county of about 36,000, Bebow said. And those who don’t use the facilities are either out of the county at the time of the illness or have to go to another hospital because White River doesn’t offer the treatment, such as open heart procedures.

Bebow said the health care system tries to offer a wide variety of services that the community needs.

“We’re proud to take good care of our community,” he said.

While some other hospitals around the state have started exploring the possibility of forming a partnership with a larger hospital, White River hasn’t, Bebow said.

“My board of directors is very committed to remain independent because we believe the best decisions are at the local level, not out of Little Rock or Nashville or some faraway land,” he said. “We believe that no one knows the needs of our community better than we do.” 

White River Health System 
Year ends Sept. 30  
Revenue in millions  
2004 $119
2005 $131
2006 $129
2007 $172
2008 $190
2009 $183
2010 $191
2011 $170
2012 $170



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