“This does not seem like a well thought out policy.”
The words of Concho County Hospital CEO, Brian Lady, as he and other city leaders in Eden are trying to prevent Congress from considering legislation which would cut reimbursements for “swing bed” programs at the Concho County Hospital, and others like it, across Texas.
“We’re hoping we can get enough notice to our congressman and the Ways and Means Committee to understand how important it is to Eden that we don’t lose that swing bed program,” says Eden Mayor Eddy Markham. “It can devastate us, locally.”
Brian Lady and Mayor Markham say cutting funding to swing bed programs will likely put the hospital in danger of closing. It would also leave 50 staff members unemployed, half of which live in Eden.
Lady says swing bed programs are an important way for patients to transition from in-patient care back to their home environment.
Allowing patients to stay closer to home for their healthcare needs, instead of traveling to a bigger city.
“We have a number of residents who can’t afford to take off,” Lady says. “If you’re leaving 3 or 4 times a week, that’s a significant cut to your family income. Plus, the travel to get up there plus eating out and a potential hotel stay.”
Lane Carter took a tour of the facility and says healthcare is a “universal need” and not just an urban area need.
“I knew this was going to effect not only Eden but the entire area,” Carter says. “The rural areas surrounding Eden and San Angelo since we’re linked together.”
In the meantime, Eden is trying to rebound from the closure of the city’s detention center in April, which hurt the city financially.
Mayor Markham mailed a statement to residents assuring them that for now, the city has done all it can to rebound from the detention center’s closure.
He says CoreCivic agreed to help with water use, sewer system and wastewater payments for the city. Markham says the company will continue to do so as long as there’s hope the detention center will be back up in running.
However, Mayor Markham says that won’t be decided until 2019.