Rural Texas hospital defies closure trend and reopens

Alyssa Rege - Print  | 

Roughly one year after closing its doors, a Crockett, Texas-based rural hospital defied the national trend and reopened its emergency department, inpatient beds and some services on a smaller scale in August 2018, Kaiser Health News reports.

The hospital, previously called Timberlands Hospital, abruptly closed in summer 2017 after only a few weeks' notice from its management company, Rockdale, Texas-based Little River Healthcare. LRH filed for bankruptcy in summer 2018 and recently entered into an agreement allowing St. Louis-based Ascension to take control of its associated clinic and physicians.

The hospital was among the 17 rural hospitals in Texas that have closed since January 2010, according to data from the Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.

A second report by researchers at College Station-based Texas A&M University Rural & Community Health Institute indicated that before its closure in 2017, the hospital had been treating an increasingly poor and aging patient population. Researchers also indicated the hospital was overstaffed by more than 200 employees, among other issues.

Leaders in Crockett attempted to entice other health systems in the region to take over the hospital to no avail. However, two physicians from Austin, Texas, helped create a five-year lease arrangement between the hospital and the management company, Crockett Medical Center LLC, the report states.

Since reopening in August, the hospital operates a primary care clinic and a 24/7 emergency room. However, the hospital did not resume delivery and maternity care services when it reopened.

To access the full report, click here.

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