Citizens signs deal with long-term acute care hospital

Laura Garcia By Laura Garcia

Nov. 29, 2017 at 10:27 p.m.
Updated Nov. 30, 2017 at 11:39 a.m.

Citizens Medical Center is planning to open a long-term acute care hospital within the hospital.

The county hospital's board approved the lease contract with Post Acute Medical at a meeting Wednesday.

Post Acute Medical operates two freestanding hospitals on the north side of Victoria as well as a long-term acute care hospital inside DeTar Hospital Navarro.

Citizens officials said the new service is designed for patients with medically complex cases who require extended recovery time.

Many will be admitted directly from the ICU.

Chief Executive Officer Mike Olson said having Post Acute Medical onsite will allow Citizens to expand its continuum of care for patients.

"We were pleased that our availability of space and PAM's need for space coincided, and we look forward to the benefits this new opportunity will bring to our patients and our hospital," he said in an email.

Anne Rotoloni Leon, Post Acute Medical executive vice president and senior development officer, said that a study indicated an additional unit is needed in Victoria.

She said the hospital is expected to open at Citizens near the end of 2018.

"It's very convenient for the patient to have all of the acute care services right there," she said.

Victoria County Judge Ben Zeller said the deal would be an opportunity to generate significant revenue in an unused area of the hospital.

Tom Watson, a partner of BKD and a certified public accountant, presented the audited financial report, which was approved by Citizens Board of Managers.

But before its approval, the board discussed the audit in closed session for more than an hour.

Watson said in open session that the hospital experienced a loss of $18.1 million in fiscal year 2017 and $12.9 million in fiscal year 2016.

Some of the challenges include a decrease in supplemental Medicaid funding from the government, a one-year delay in the transition from one nursing home care improvement program to another and a significant increase in the amount of charity care provided to patients.

"Like several nonprofit institutions, we have experienced unanticipated financial challenges this fiscal year," said Chief Financial Officer Duane Woods.

Still, Woods said the hospital has zero debt and has an adequate amount in reserves.

The current cash on hand is about 125 days. Last year, the hospital had 106 days cash on hand.

Zeller said while he's concerned with financial losses at the county hospital, he's optimistic officials can find ways to increase revenue and limit expenses while providing the best care possible.

"I'm confident the hospital has the right leadership in place and they will continue to get us on solid financial footing," he said.



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