|Trinity Standard - Local News
Copyright 2011 - Polk County Publishing Company
Clinic expansion approved by TMHD board
Trinity Standard -
TRINITY – A $150,000 payment to the Medicaid Upper Payment Limit (UPL) Program was approved Monday night by the Trinity Memorial Hospital District’s board to fund expanding the district-owned medical clinic. During their monthly meeting, the board received a formal letter from the East Texas Medical Center System agreeing to the expansion program for the clinic. Although only two years old, the clinic has been in need of additional space due to a higher than anticipated volume of patients. To meet this need, TMHD officials plan to have a portion of the existing East Texas Medical Center-Trinity hospital building converted into space for use by the clinic. While TMHD owns the hospital and clinic buildings, both are operated by the Tyler-based ETMC System under a lease agreement. The new clinic, which went into use on April 20, 2009, was built adjoining the south side of the hospital. At present, a 15-patient room expansion is underway on the north side of the medical facility and when completed, some of the existing patient rooms will be converted into office space. Space now used for offices and for the conference room will then be remodeled and turned over for use by the clinic. Under the UPL program, the hospital district will pay $150,000 into the Medicare program. Medicare will then match that with $240,000 and return $390,000 to ETMC. This money will be earmarked for indigent care but will free up other ETMC funds, which in turn will be used to remodel the offices for use by the clinic. The $150,000 the hospital district will use is money that normally would be used to pay ETMC a $25,000 per month fee to cover local indigent medical care costs. TMHD President Larry King noted that the hospital district will still receive credit for paying ETMC for six months of the indigent care costs. This is basically the same process used by TMHD and ETMC to fund the current hospital expansion and the construction of the new clinic . With the planned $150,000 UPL payment, the hospital district will have pre-paid its monthly indigent care fees through September 2015.