Texas hospital leaders point to regulator issues for closure

Addison, Texas-based LifeCare Health, a long-term acute care provider, is closing its Fort Worth,Texas, hospital and consolidating services into its two other hospital locations in Dallas and Plano, Texas.

"This was a very carefully considered decision," Rebecca Black, vice president of marketing and communications for LifeCare, told Becker's. "It was a very hard decision, but a necessary decision to better serve patients going forward in the current healthcare climate."

The 45-bed hospital, which comprises 10 ICU beds and 35 regular beds, does not have a set closure date and is waiting until all its patients are safely discharged to begin looking at next steps for care. 

"We are also evaluating which of our employees may be relocated to different campuses, to our Dallas or to our Plano campus," Ms. Black said. "There will definitely be layoffs. With the consolidation we just can't double up everywhere. Our human resources teams are really trying to pinpoint where to best utilize people that can be relocated."

Mimi Hedgecock, vice president of government and North Texas health system relations at LifeCare, pointed to a change in Medicare criteria to enter a long-term acute care hospital as one of the reasons that fueled the closure decision.

"[Long-term acute hospitals] need short term relief until a health care legislative vehicle can move through the legislative process," Ms. Hedgecock told Becker's. "We are asking Congress to reinstate the waiver implemented during COVID, removing the requirement for a patient to come directly from a subsection D hospital within three ICU days. This will let doctors with medical knowledge of their patients determine where their patients will receive the best care to meet their needs."

Ms. Hedgecock said LifeCare would like to see Congress act so that physicians and registered nurses can continue their patient care successfully. 

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