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Hospital board gets update on Bridgeport, Parkway

By Bob Buckel | Published Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Wise Regional Bridgeport is still losing money, but the losses are getting smaller.

And the new surgical hospital Wise Regional is building in Fort Worth won’t start making money until next April at the earliest.

Neither of those developments is a surprise.

That’s the gist of reports the Decatur Hospital Authority board heard as they met on Aug. 26.

Wise Regional purchased the former North Texas Community Hospital in Bridgeport in March and closed all but the emergency room for renovations for several weeks before it officially reopened May 17. The activity level has picked up steadily since then – although as expected, it continues to operate in the red.

Finance Director Jim Eaton told the board the Bridgeport hospital lost $400,000 in July, but noted that $100,000 of that was depreciation and another $100,000 was debt service. Those losses were down from about $600,000 the first couple of months.

“We were actually encouraged by the decreasing loss in Bridgeport in July,” CEO Steve Summers said. “It will only improve once we get an ICU started there, and we are ready to ramp up in surgery there as well.”

The Bridgeport campus did 57 surgeries in May, in a partial month. In June that number rose to 82, and in July it was 89. Summers projected the total for August would be around 115 – close to full utilization of around 140 surgeries a month.

Work is also currently underway to reopen an ICU at the Bridgeport campus – a move that should provide significant support for increased surgical activity there.

He said Bridgeport could provide some needed relief for the busy surgical suites in the Decatur facility.

“We had 615 in Decatur this month, and that’s a pretty good load,” he noted.

He added he had “no doubt” that volume would increase at Bridgeport as word continues to spread. The ER saw about 450 visits in July, he noted.

Meanwhile, Wise Regional’s Parkway Surgical Hospital promises to be an important part of the system once it opens next April.

The facility, located at North Tarrant Parkway and Interstate 35 in Fort Worth, should be ready for occupancy in late January of next year. Summers said it could open as early as next April, “depending on how much equipment we can get into the facility before it’s turned over to us.”

Wise Regional will lease the 29,000-square-foot building, which will have four operating rooms, two procedure rooms and 12 inpatient beds along with laboratory, radiology and pre-operative services. Its footprint is expandable to allow for expected growth.

OTHER BUSINESS

  • The board also heard reports on insurance and investments and approved new medical staff appointments for four physicians – two in emergency medicine and one each in orthopedic surgery and cardiology – as well as two CRNAs (anesthesia) and a nurse-practitioner (bariatrics).
  • Biennial reappointments were approved for another CRNA and two more physicians, in oncology and neurology, and first-year reviews were approved for three physicians in cardiology, emegency medicine and family medicine as well as two more CRNAs.
  • The board approved recommendations from the Medical Executive Committee formalizing revisions to the Family Medicine core privileges that were approved at the July meeting. Those revisions allow FP doctors to provide labor and delivery services as long as they meet specific standards.
  • The board heard a recommendation that Wise Regional not pursue a purchase or management contract with Bowie Memorial Hospital.
  • The board approved a contract with EMOB Decatur to provide medical oncology services for Wise Regional.

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