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Cindy Paris

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Physician-owned Texas hospital asks to expand


Rockwall County Courthouse.

It seems that we usually read about hospitals with too many beds in these days of burgeoning outpatient services and hospital consolidation. But Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Rockwall, in Rockwall County,  in Greater Dallas, wants the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services to let it increase the number of beds.
County  officials and other residents say Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Rockwall needs to grow to catch up with a big local population  increase and to prepare for natural disasters, particularly flooding and tornadoes.
The hospital, part of physician-owned Texas Health Resources, wants to increase the number of operating rooms and other procedure rooms, and double the number of its licensed beds to  120.  The physician-owned hospital’s occupancy has jumped dramatically and is one of only two hospitals in Rockwall County, hospital President Cindy Paris told HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell.
Big hospital systems, worried about over-capacity and seeking to reduce competition, lobbied Congress to include an amendment in the Affordable Care Act to  bar physician-owned hospitals from expanding their existing facilities unless the HHS secretary deems it beneficial to the community.
“Rockwall County is expanding and it is important that our hospital be able to support our community as well as surrounding communities that don’t have hospital facilities yet,” Rockwall resident Kim Iles said in a comment letter to HHS. 

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