East Texas Medical Center Regional Healthcare System officials
have announced the system will not seek renewal of its lease of
ETMC first made the decision public at the June 19 meeting of
the ETMC Clarksville Board of Directors. ETMC officials will meet
with the Red River Hospital Authority Board this Thursday at its
regularly scheduled meeting.
ETMC has leased the Clarksville hospital since 1996. The current
lease expires March 31, 2016.
"We are saddened to inform the community that we will not seek
renewal of our lease when it expires," said Perry Henderson, ETMC
senior vice president, affiliate operations. "Unfortunately,
despite strong support from the community, our providers and our
hospital staff, utilization levels and declining reimbursements
across the board make our continued involvement unfeasible."
Henderson stated that the average inpatient census for the
hospital is seven, and the emergency room averages less than one
patient visit per hour. This lack of utilization coupled with cuts
in Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements have led to unsustainable
financial losses at the hospital for the past few years.
With 21 months remaining on the current lease, Henderson
reiterated ETMC's commitment for fulfilling its obligation. "ETMC
has been part of Red River County for more than 18 years, so this
was not an easy decision, nor one we took lightly. We are fully
committed to continuing to provide quality healthcare to this
community through the term of our contract," he said. "We
also offer our assistance to the hospital authority as they begin
the search for a new lessee. ETMC will do whatever it can to ensure
a smooth transition in the coming years and continued access to
healthcare for this community."