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.