NEWS HEADLINES

Bridgeport hospital not fully open

By Bob Buckel | Published Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The signs say Wise Regional Health System Bridgeport, but if you show up for anything that’s not an emergency, you’ll likely be sent up the road to Decatur.

The former North Texas Community Hospital, which became part of the Wise Regional Health System on March 26, is still in transition mode, with only the emergency department and a few beds operating. Meanwhile, workers are upgrading, inspecting and testing equipment and making other changes prior to the hospital being fully operational again.

That should occur sometime in the next week or two. A ribbon-cutting and official opening will likely be scheduled around the first of May.

STILL BUSY - The Emergency Room at the former North Texas Community Hospital in Bridgeport has remained a busy place since the transition to become part of Wise Regional Health System. The facility is not yet fully open, but its ER has seen more than 100 visits since the changeover March 26. Messenger photo by Bob Buckel

STILL BUSY – The Emergency Room at the former North Texas Community Hospital in Bridgeport has remained a busy place since the transition to become part of Wise Regional Health System. The facility is not yet fully open, but its ER has seen more than 100 visits since the changeover March 26. Messenger photo by Bob Buckel

“If we do get to the point where we are busier than expected, we will open some inpatient services,” Shannon Puphal, marketing and communications director, said this week. “We’re still working on a lot of the paperwork and transition with technology, overall just ironing out the details.”

She did say the ER has continued to be busy, seeing nearly 100 patients since the change in ownership.

“We’ve seen nine ER-to-ER transfers, and only two of those were admitted as inpatients on our Decatur campus,” Puphal said.

The signs were changed out the day after the transfer.

Meanwhile, former NTCH CEO Max Ludeke and a few other employees are working through the hospital’s paperwork, sorting it into piles for tossing, shredding, storing on-site or storing off-site. Ludeke said bills owed to North Texas Community are still due and payable, and not affected by the change in ownership.

The hospital retained its accounts receivable and will use those funds to satisfy obligations to the IRS. Some personnel may remain at the facility for as long as three months.

SIGNS OF CHANGE - Signs at the former North Texas Community Hospital in Bridgeport bear the facility's new name: Wise Regional Health System Bridgeport. Messenger photo by Bob Buckel

SIGNS OF CHANGE – Signs at the former North Texas Community Hospital in Bridgeport bear the facility’s new name: Wise Regional Health System Bridgeport. Messenger photo by Bob Buckel

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