Letter to the editor: L-D hospital would be forced to close without Hospital District

By David Smith, executive vice president, Newlight Healthcare

Indigent care and charity care have long been a cornerstone for the Liberty County Hospital District and Liberty-Dayton Regional Medical Center since the district was formed in 2005 (It [was] purchased and reopened the hospital in 2009).  There are many citizens in our community in need of care that rely on the hospital district for essential and sometimes life saving services.

The hospital district and the hospital provide an array of these services. The district has a robust indigent care program, and the hospital has a variety of charity care programs and policies including: a financial assistance program; presumptive charity care; and a catastrophically medically indigent program. The hospital district’s indigent care program alone has served over 1,400 residents in our community, giving them the support, they need when they have no where else to turn.

Between 2018 and 2021 the hospital district and the hospital covered almost $12 million in indigent and charity care services. That’s almost $3 million per year, and well in excess of the local taxes collected to support the district.  In addition to the charity care provided, the hospital averages over 8,500 emergency room visits per year, and more than 5,000 clinic visits.

Through HCA Medical, the hospital provides 24-hour helicopter available to transport patients to Houston Medical Center. There is a tremendous need for medical services in our community and the hospital district and the hospital are happy they can help meet that need.

Recently, there have been external challenges to the hospital district proposing that it be dissolved. It is important for the citizens in our community to know that the district provides essential services directly and through its hospital. If the district were to dissolve, the hospital would be closed.

If such a challenge to the hospital district were successful, it would be devastating to the citizens utilizing the hospital’s emergency room and clinic, and especially the most vulnerable among us who benefit from the district’s indigent care program and the hospital’s charity care programs. Also, more than 130 people would loose their jobs.

For more information regarding the hospital district’s indigent care program and its qualifications and guidelines, please contact the district by visiting its website (lchd1.org) or call 936-336-7400.

For more information regarding the hospital’s charity and financial assistance programs, please visit its website (libertydaytonrmc.com) or call 936-336-7316, ext. 240.

7 COMMENTS

  1. So thankful to have an emergency room and hospital near. Also the new HCA medical airlift helicopter stationed at the hospital is a 20 minute flight to a trauma hospital in Houston. Much better than getting in the queue to wait for life flight in Houston to arrive and then a return flight. We need this hospital in south Liberty County!

  2. We need A hospital in south Liberty. Not necessarily THIS hospital. Government-run healthcare isn’t effective or efficient. This District has broken several laws recently and that’s just the incidents we know of. Violating the Open Meetings Act, failure to complete yearly audits…what else are they doing that we don’t know about? Liberty County deserves better. If the Hospital District would move aside, we could have healthcare that isn’t dependent on the taxpayers. Growth is happening all around us…it’s only a matter of time. Sign the petition to vote to dissolve LCHD1 and their tax. http://www.LCMovingForward.com

  3. Attacks aimed at the Hospital District by new political activists on the extreme Republican right, specifically fans (fanatics) of Grover Norquist, infamous for his monomaniacal attacks on all taxation are, it seems, as much about zealous killing yet another tax as about seriously reforming local healthcare.

    Successful at killing the recent bond election which would have expanded the Liberty-Dayton hospital and clinics ability to serve our communities, apparently these radical attacks are escalating.

    What do these No-tax Norquist inspired radicals want? Expect?

    I presume they want to kill the Hospital District as a taxing entity. As Mr. Smith described, the unintended consequences would be terrible: “If the district were to dissolve, the hospital would be closed.” Local healthcare would cease and 130 jobs would be lost. Is that healthcare reform?

    Apparently, the radicals haven’t thought that far ahead. How is this any different than the absurd chants of “Defund the police!”? Duh, what happens in the interim?

    So what do these No-tax Norquist inspired radicals expect?

    It seems to me their expectations are that a large for-profit hospital will ride in on a white horse and suddenly plop down at a new hospital. Thus, the void will be filled. Well, ain’t that special. Reality suggests such a fantasy would be at least 5 years away.

    Reality also suggests such an outcome probably will happen as a direct result of population growth in the future. Hello? Isn’t that called supply and demand? Isn’t that a satisfactory no tax outcome, albeit ears in the future? Have a little patience. Worry about real local problems, not grand political philosophy and ideology.

    In closing, misinformation and full on attack seem to be the modus operandi of politics these days. How satisfied are any of us with that in national politics? Do we really need such vitriol in our fair city?

    I think not. The Liberty-Dayton Community Medical Hospital and Clinic are among our greatest assets. If a fight is brewing, let’s fight to keep them.

  4. From their website:

    “NewLight Healthcare is a healthcare management and professional services company based in Austin, Texas. We have an established record of success with both hospitals and nursing homes.

    Our fundamental philosophy at NewLight Healthcare is based on the belief that a hospital cannot return to prosperity by cutting costs. We know and have proven time and time again that prosperity is achieved by focusing on growth. As a result, our approach is based upon growth and begins by analyzing and understanding the root causes that hold a hospital back and limit its ability to prosper. Once that analysis is complete, we develop a tailored plan that addresses each driver of profitability.

    Our focus is mainly on revenue cycle management, staffing alignment, facility improvement, and service optimization.”

    Looks like a good partnership with the Hospital District to me. Thanks for your comment, Mr. Smith, and thanks for providing a space for interactive civil discussion of important topics, Vanesa at Bluebonnet News

    http://newlighthealthcare.com/

  5. A city run hospital is like a city run electrical utility or a city run golf course. And what’s with borrowing all that money from one bank? And owning all the operating licenses for nursing homes? They own more operating licenses for nursing homes than they do hospital beds. Seems as if the mission has strayed a good bit.

  6. This hospital saved my father-in-law’s life. They were able to stabilize him and life flight him to a hospital in Dallas where he eventually received a new heart. We are grateful to have one so close! I am willing to pay the necessary taxes to save lives in our community, and I am a Republican voter!

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