I recently spoke to an ETMC physician in the dining room, saying “Doc, how are you?” “Great!” he responded, with a wry grin. “I’m living the dream . . . . well, it’s not my dream.”
Given the momentous changes taking place in the business of healthcare, I could relate to his sentiment. While our governmental leaders strive to improve access to care, there is a fall-out, as both hospitals and providers see steep declines in payments for services. These reductions are particularly ominous for the small, rural hospitals in Texas and across the country. Since 2010, more than 70 small hospitals in the U.S. have closed, with many more facing that possibility.
ETMC’s dream of providing the highest level of care in East Texas home communities was realized over the past three decades, as our outreach expanded. Today – despite the challenges of the current healthcare environment – we are still dedicated to that dream.
Recent good news includes:
- ETMC Tyler recently reached new in-network agreements with Blue Cross Blue Shield, Aetna and United – resulting in greater patient choice and continuity of care throughout the ETMC healthcare system’s service area.
- ETMC is opening a network of Urgent Care clinics, offering walk-in, cost-effective care across the region. Already open in Bullard, Chapel Hill, Lake Palestine, Lindale, Mineola and Tyler.
- ETMC continues to expand its high-level specialty programs, such as the new Epilepsy Monitoring Unit at ETMC Tyler covered in this newsletter.
By and far, the best news is that healthcare remains a daily mission of serving others. ETMC is blessed with incredibly qualified, compassionate team members who have chosen – through their medical roles – to make a difference in the lives of others. The following excerpt from a recent letter conveys the result of this patient-centered care:
“I was scared when I went in at 5 a.m. for (hip replacement) surgery. I almost backed out at the last minute. One minute I was talking to my anesthesiologists, and the next thing I knew, I was waking up in my room. My doctor was brilliant, confident, skilled. I just wanted to express my deepest respect, gratitude to ETMC Tyler.”
I thank you for being a part of ETMC’s journey of dreaming big dreams and advancing care for the benefit of those we serve.
Best regards on behalf of all of us at ETMC,
Elmer G. Ellis, FACHE
ETMC Regional Healthcare System