Texas hospital to close

St. Mark's Medical Center in La Grange, Texas, will shutter Oct. 12 after unsuccessful efforts to satisfy its financial obligations. 

The hospital has been paying less than its full mortgage since 2020, but can no longer sustain its $13 million of mortgage debt as revenue sinks and prices rise, according to an Oct. 4 news release. 

"St. Mark’s would have faced closure years earlier had it not been for COVID-related funding and an agreement with the hospital’s mortgage lender and HUD to pay less than the full mortgage since February 2020," said Dudley Piland, the hospital's board chair. 

St. Mark's cut nearly half its staff and various services in January, and in February, the hospital converted to Rural Emergency Hospital designation to preserve its emergency department services and most outpatient care. Texas' Health and Human Services Commission recently granted payments of $187,500 per quarter for six quarters to support rural emergency hospitals like St. Mark's, and the La Grange Economic Development Corporation pledged $500,000 toward capital improvements, but it still was not enough to save the hospital. 

"Closure is certainly not the outcome that anyone wanted for our community, the staff or their families. But without the additional local funding support HCOE [a local investor group] was seeking, the hospital is out of options," Mr. Piland said. 


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