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ETMC will not seek renewal of lease for ETMC Clarksville

East Texas Medical Center Regional Healthcare System officials have announced the system will not seek renewal of its lease of ETMC Clarksville.

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."