GAINESVILLE — The board of directors for Gainesville’s North Texas Medical Center commented on the positive changes that occurred at the hospital during the past year under the management of Universal Health Services and Texoma Medical Center. UHS and TMC announced earlier this week they would end their management agreement with the hospital on May 1.
“Things continue improving at the hospital and the Board is encouraged by the results from the past year,” the board said in the press release issued Friday morning. “Relationships within the community are improving as a result of the positive changes the hospital is experiencing.”
Earlier this week, the board of directors was notified during a closed, executive session that UHS would end its management of the hospital on May 1. The notification came just one day before the one year anniversary of UHS signing an agreement to manage the 60-bed hospital.
Since it signed the agreement early last year, the board said the hospital has been focusing on improving several business aspects of its operations. This has led to better patient quality and growth, the board said. In turn, the hospital received a four-star rating in a recent Medicare/Medicaid Services survey.
“The medical staff and employees of the hospital have been utilizing ‘best practices’ from the industry, which are garnishing exceptional results,” the board’s statement said. “Areas of improvement include more efficient staffing ratios, supply-chain management, enhanced billing practices and resource management.”
In late 2016, the board agreement to negotiate an agreement with UHS and TMC for management services in an effort to bring best industry practices to the hospital. In January 2017, the same month that it signed the agreement, NTMC filed a petition for protections under Chapter 9 of Title 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Sherman Division of the Eastern District of Texas.
As a part of the Chapter 9 processes, an ombudsman was assigned to inspect the hospital’s operational plan during the restructuring. During a recent inspection, the ombudsman was impressed by the progress, the press release said. Prior to the agreement, the hospital was losing over $650,000 per month, the press release said.
“For the past several months, the hospital has shown a positive cash flow and is well on its way to being a profitable entity,” the board said. “Surgical volumes have increased over 50 percent from prior year and the Average Daily Census has increased over 50 percent from prior year. Updated contracts were presented to the physicians working for the District and recruitment of other doctors and specialists is currently underway.”
Officials with UHS on Friday said they had no additional comments at this time regarding the termination of the contract. On Tuesday, the company released a press release that confirmed the termination of the agreement.
“UHS and TMC are actively supporting exploration of future options for the hospital, and are committed to working closely with the board in supporting a smooth transition,” UHS said in Tuesday’s press release.
Following the end of the agreement, officials with NTMC said it will retain a relationship with TMC. However, officials were unclear of what that relationship would look like past May 1.
“We anticipate a smooth transition between NTMC and TMC moving forward,” NTMC Marketing Director Kristi Rigsby said Friday in response to questions about both the current and future relationships between the hospitals.
The NTMC board is expected to hold a special called session on Jan. 31 at 7 p.m. to discuss a course of action following the termination of the contract.