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ER staff prepares for clinic’s hiatus
by Jason Collins
Jul 24, 2013 | 1570 views | 2 2 comments | 21 21 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Beeville Medical Associates is closing Friday and will reopen as a branch of Twin Fountains. Hospital staff, along with other doctors in town, are preparing to assist those patients until the clinic reopens on Aug. 5.
Beeville Medical Associates is closing Friday and will reopen as a branch of Twin Fountains. Hospital staff, along with other doctors in town, are preparing to assist those patients until the clinic reopens on Aug. 5.
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BEEVILLE – With the coming two-week closure of the Beeville Medical Associates clinic, hospital staffers are gearing up for an expected increase in emergency room visits.

The clinic will be closed until Aug. 5 when Twin Fountains Medical Clinics, owned by Dr. John McNeill, takes over the operation.

Raymond Ramos, vice president/chief operating officer at Christus Spohn Beeville, said that it’s not only hospital staff but the entire medical community that has offered their help during this transition to ensure that the patients are cared for adequately.

Likewise, staff from the Christus Spohn Medical Group will remain at the clinic until October to assist patients in obtaining their medical records.

“We are going to keep staff working there in the clinic working side by side with Dr. McNeill’s staff,” said Linda McKenna, vice president with physicians services at Christus Spohn Medical Group. “We will be able to provide immediate on-scene, on-site medical records.”

McKenna said that they notified doctors at the clinic 90 days out that they would not be renewing their contract.

She, however, would not say why the decision was made to discontinue the service other than it was “multi-factorial.”

The medical group purchased the clinic two years ago. Today, Saturday, that contract expires.

Throughout at least the past 90 days, officials with the medical group have been in negotiations with a couple of groups, including Dr. McNeill, who has clinics in Victoria, Port Lavaca and Rockport.

McKenna said that, while the hospital had made the decision to discontinue the service there, that didn’t mean the clinic would close.

“There was always the option (the doctors) could continue to operate the clinic. It just would not be a CPN clinic,” she said.

McKenna said that a similar situation occurred in George West when discussion surrounded the closing of that clinic. Ultimately, the decision was made to continue it as part of the Christus Spohn Medical Group.

In Beeville, Christus Spohn Hospital staff members are preparing for a substantial renovation to its emergency room.

Fortunately that work won’t begin until after this Beeville clinic reopens Aug. 5 as a Twin Fountains branch.

Ramos said that when the emergency room work is complete, it will have a new fast track room for those patients needing treatment for such illnesses as sore throats and smaller cuts, along with overall increased capacity and a more efficient layout.

These renovations, costing between $850,000 to 900,000, are needed Ramos said because of the increase in patients coming through the ER doors.

Construction also will be done in several phases instead of all at once.

“We have to keep the ER running, even with the construction going on,” Ramos said.

Once complete, the emergency room staff will be better able to handle the increase in the number of patients entering.

“This fiscal year just closed, and we saw about a 14 percent increase in ER visits from last fiscal year,” Ramos said. “Many of those are attributed to accidents along Highway 181... and other areas in the Eagle Ford Shale.”

This increase is in contrast to an overall hospital population of about a third the total occupancy.

Ramos said the hospital’s daily occupancy averages about 21 patients.

“It is low compared to some of our other facilities. If we can have the hospital full every day, that is the goal of any administrative team.”

He said that the addition of local general surgeons would likely increase the number of patients.

“We are licensed for 69 beds,” Ramos said. “You want to meet the needs of a community.”

Currently, the hospital contracts to have a surgeon at the hospital during the week, but Ramos wants to have two surgeons on staff who could be available at any time — including weekends.

Couple that with finding ways to bring in more primary care physicians, and the hospital would see an increase in patients, Ramos said.

All of it takes time, but Katy Kiser, communications manager, said that the hospital and the medical group are willing to do what it takes to improve service in the area.

“Christus Spohn Hospital Beeville is here to stay,” she said.

Comments
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Bdkwest
|
July 26, 2013


Certainly patient admission will rise at the hospital due to poor planning and negligence of the doctors and staff at Beeville Medical Associates.

Unfortunately no one prepared for the closing. I attempted to by asking for instruction from clinic staff as to how to request and receive my son's and my triplicate Rx from our doctors once the clinic is closed. Both these prescriptions can only be filled every 30 days, and must be physically picked up by the patient...meaning I would need new triplicates written after the clinic closed. Staff instructed me to contact my pharmacy who would then contact the physician and/or clinic staff.. It has been a week, and the staff working at the closed clinic stated to the pharmacy and me (when I called and reached someone at the clinic) " the doctors have not been in to retrieve their handwritten messages (since doctors no longer access to their computer system). No guarantees they will see messages before the reopening on Aug 5th."

Upon calling other Beeville clinics to see a different doctor, the earliest appointments available are in two weeks.

So is the ER our only option to see a doctor who may or may not fill our prescriptions?

I guess this is the answer to temporarily resolve the low patient occupancy at the hospital (issue brought up in this article). They will simply let patients go without meds until they are sick enough to be admitted.

Who is to be held accountable for this negligence?

Bdkwest
|
July 26, 2013
Unfortunately no one prepared for the closing. I attempted to by asking for instruction from clinic staff as to how to request and receive my son's and my triplicate Rx from our doctors. It has been a week, and the staff working at the closed clinic say the doctors have not been in to retrieve their handwritten messages (since doctors no longer access to their computer system). No guarantees they will see messages before the reopening on Aug 5th.

Upon calling other Beeville clinics to see a different doctor, the earliest appointments available are in two weeks.

So is the ER our only option to see a doctor who may or may not fill our prescriptions?

I guess this is the answer to fill up the patient occupancy at the hospital (issue brought up at end of this article). They will simply let patients go without meds until they are sick enough to be admitted.

Who is to be held accountable for this negligence?