Finances Force Hospital Closure in Southern Dallas


 
 

Elizabeth Langton | | Wednesday, February 13, 2008


DALLAS -- Medical Center at Lancaster, the only hospital in the southern Dallas County city, will close Thursday after 25 years of operation.

The hospital board made the decision Tuesday morning and informed the 350 employees a few hours later, hospital spokesman Joe Poulos said. He said the hospital was probably headed for bankruptcy.

Eboni Durham said she and other employees have been told to turn in their badges in two days.

"We are going to have to find new jobs -- find new jobs wherever we can," she said.

Merit Health Systems of Louisville, Ky., bought the hospital from American MedTrust in 2004. It had opened as a part of HCA in 1983.

The labor and delivery unit was remodeled in 2006, and administrators announced last year that they would further upgrade the facilities and invest in new equipment.

But the hospital continued to face obstacles such as competition, high levels of unpaid patient bills and low payment rates from HMOs.

"All those things combined made the hospital unable to be profitable," Mr. Poulos said. "Obviously, they would like to remain open and operate, but the Dallas metro market is very well covered."

The hospital had 50 in-patients Tuesday. Those who cannot be discharged by Thursday will be transferred to nearby facilities at Medical Center at Lancaster's expense.

Hospital board member Bill Wells said the shutdown is a huge loss for the city. "They provide medical care for all of the residents in the whole southwest Dallas area," he said.

City and Chamber of Commerce officials did not return calls seeking comment about the closure.

In a written statement, city spokeswoman Ciciely Hickmon said officials could not speculate on the facility's future.

"The city of Lancaster remains committed to its residents and is working diligently to minimize the impact of the closing of the Medical Center at Lancaster," she said in the three-paragraph statement.

Patients transported by Lancaster ambulances may choose their hospitals. Critically injured patients will be taken to the closest appropriate hospital, Ms. Hickmon said. Four hospitals are within 15 miles.

Medical Center at Lancaster has 90 beds and about 100 affiliated physicians. Employees will receive severance packages, but details were not released.


Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: Operations and Protcols, Vehicle Operations

What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS

 

 

Get JEMS in Your Inbox

 

Fire EMS Blogs


Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

 

EMS Airway Clinic

Innovation & Progress

Follow in the footsteps of these inspirational leaders of EMS.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

Tennessee County EMS Shows Off CPR Tool

Lucas 2 in service in Bradley County.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Abilene Loses Helicopter Service

Native Air leaves city with only one air helicopter service.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

D.C. Fire Chief Proposes another Controversial Ambulance Plan

Staffing change will leave immediate neighborhood without fire apparatus.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

FDIC 2014 CHAT: MIKE MCEVOY AND A.J. HEIGHTMAN

Mike McEvoy and A.J. Heightman discuss some new EMS technology at FDIC 2014.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

VividTrac offered by Vivid Medical - EMS Today 2013

VividTrac, affordable high performance video intubation device.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Braun Ambulances' EZ Door Forward

Helps to create a safer ambulance module.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

LMA MAD Nasal™

Needle-free intranasal drug delivery.
Watch It >


More Product Videos >