|Trinity Standard - Local News
Copyright 2011 - Polk County Publishing Company
Remodeling planned for existing hospital
Trinity Standard -
TRINITY – Plans to remodel the existing East Texas Medical Center-Trinity facility moved forward this week with the Trinity Memorial Hospital District’s board transferring $150,000 for the work. During their Aug. 15 meeting, the TMHD board was told that the transfer of the money into Medicare’s Upper Payment Limit (UPL) program would be completed on Thursday, Aug. 18. The money goes into the UPL program and Medicare adds 160 percent more – or $240,000 – and returns it to ETMC to help fund the care of indigent patients. Under the arrangements, this frees up other funds in the ETMC system, which can then be used to pay for the renovation work now being planned. The same funding system was used to pay for the Physician’s Medical Clinic attached to the hospital and for the new 15-room wing, surgical suite, dietary department and other improvements now under construction. Planned renovations to the existing building call for the current administrative offices and conference room to be converted into a pediatric area for the attached clinic. The administration offices would then be moved into the current kitchen and dining area. In addition, plans call for the replacement of old doors and other general improvements, renovation of the existing patient rooms to be comparable to the ones now being built and an upgrade in the current specialty physician area. Board members noted that work on relocating the administrative offices could not begin until after the new kitchen and dining area are completed. While that is now scheduled for February 2012, ETMC Administrator Warren Robicheaux indicated he believes the new dietary department could be finished earlier, possibly around the first of the year. In other business, the board approved a new set of bylaws which reflect recent changes in the law which created the district. When the district was first created in the 1980s, the quorum needed for meeting of the nine-member board was set at only four. At the request of the TMHD board, State Rep. James White introduced HB 460 during this year’s legislative session, which increased he quorum to the more traditional five.