Jones, Harold 1998-11-06

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Harold Jones, Lubbock banker and insurance executive, discusses the banking and insurance professions. As a board member of St. Mary’s Hospital, he also gives his perspective of the merger of St. Mary’s and Methodist Hospitals, which led to the creation of Covenant Health System.

General Interview Information

Interviewee Name: Harold Jones

Additional Parties Recorded: None

Date: November 6, 1998

Location: Lubbock, Texas

Interviewer: Fred Allison

Length: 1 hour, 45 minutes


Tape 1, Side 1: Harold Jones, background, Born: Greenville, Texas (c. 1933), Moved to Hopkins County, Texas when 7 years old, Graduated Sulphur Springs, Texas, High School, Moved to Lubbock (1952), Assistant bank examiner, Life insurance agent (1962), Initial impression of Lubbock, Terrain, vegetation, Took a year to adapt, Preference for West Texas, Cleanliness, Awards Lubbock has received, People, Friendliness, Newness, Bankers less conservative, Lubbock economic growth, Diversification, Worked for Lubbock National Bank (1952), Emphasis on commercial business, Other Lubbock banks, American State Bank, Citizens National Bank, First National Bank, American State Bank (again), Involvement in medicine, Start up loans to doctors, Perspective on changing cost of medical care, Loans to doctors, President Jack Payne’s ‘open checkbook’ policy, Established doctors’ practices, Life insurance business (1962), Southwestern Life Insurance Co., Switched to Northwestern Mutual, Changes in life insurance business, Non-Texas companies’ increasing dominance, Interest rates change, Effect of Roberson Act (1903), Positive effect on consumers, Medical insurance, background, Effect of Medicare, Before Medicare, Self-funded insurance (managed funding), Description and comparison, Employers’ role in promoting good health.

Tape 1, Side 2: Medical insurance background (continued), Comparison of types of medical insurance, Health Maintenance Organization (HMOs), Involvement in patient treatment, Gatekeepers, Alternative to insurance companies, Description, Harold Jones (again), Involvement in St. Mary’s Hospital, Foundation Board (1990), Trustee Board (1993-94), Chairman (1997), Merger with Methodist Hospital finalized (July 1, (1998), Covenant Health System, Hospitals equally represented on Covenant Board, Alan White, Chairman, Charley Trimble, President, St. Mary’s Foundation Board, Fundraising, Relationship with IRS, St. Mary’s Trustee Board, Purpose and duties, Management responsibilities, Influence on hospital administration, Sisters of St. Joseph, Orange, California, Control of St. Mary’s, Only hospital outside of California, Background of Sisters, Financial status, Merger, Initiated (Fall, 1995), Formal announcement (January 1996), Took two and a half years to complete, First talks occurred at opening of Arrington Cancer Center, Alan White and Charley Trimble, Benefit to region and hospitals, Managed care, Competition, Outside health system worrisome, Negative impact, Competition between St. Mary’s and Methodist Hospitals, Became unhealthy, Intensity in early 1990s, Personalities involved, Methodist Hospital: Bill Poteet and Paul Schelder, Aggressiveness, Competition with University Medical Center, Directed at Methodist Hospital, St. Mary’s traditional view of indigent care, Poteet and Schelder leave Methodist Hospital, Financial strength of St. Joseph’s, Methodist Hospital’s financial problems, Aggressive recruitment of doctors, St. Mary’s focus on rural physicians, Methodist focus on Lubbock doctors, Agreements made with doctors, Dr. James Burrell III owned physician’s group, Employed doctors.

Tape 2, Side 1: Merger (continued), Hospital competition (continued), Physician loyalty to hospital, Methodist Hospital financial problems, Purchase of Cardiology Associates, Built coronary care tower, Doctors’ relationship with hospitals (again), Covenant bought Robert Salem’s and James Burrell’s physician groups, Hospital competition (again), St. Mary’s targeted by Methodist, Merger most suitable option, Early discussions, UMC’s financial good standing, Cash reserve, Founders and Board members did good job, Initial discussions (again), Mutually beneficial (again), Motives, Negotiations done by administrators, Motives (again), Benefit to hospital and community, Friendly relationship between respective boards, Familiarity, Complementary nature of hospitals, Community health care, Financial problems of Methodist Hospital (again), Columbia Health Care’s buyout offer, Local control better, Quality medical care (again), St. Joseph’s Health System, Emphasis on Christian health care, Background and Methodist and Catholic view of health care, Theological considerations not an obstacle, Financial issues most difficult, Traditional fear of dislike of Catholics, Fear of Protestant opposition, California headquarters of St. Joseph’s, Concerning at being outsiders, Financial issues (again), Control issues soft-pedaled by St. Mary’s and the press, Public got wrong impression of merger.

Tape 2, Side 2: Merger (continued), Attitude of those involved, Mission and values of St. Mary’s, Honest and genuine, Most board members are Protestants, Common values, Issues since competition of merger, Budgetary, Hospital operations and building use, Change for Hodges Cancer Center, Arrington Cancer Center, Methodist sign coming down, Financial considerations of Covenant, Dependence on local economy, Dependence on Medicare, Competition in rural areas, Albuquerque’s challenge in Eastern New Mexico, Dependence on Medicare (again), Harold Jones (again), Future of small hospitals, Medical environment demands bigness, Merger trends, Quality of Lubbock medicine, Character of West Texas people.

Range Dates: 1930-1998

Bulk Dates: 1995-1998

Access Information

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