LA GRANGE, Texas (KXAN) — St. Mark’s Medical Center in La Grange announced it is closing its doors and ceasing all operations next week.
St. Mark’s said in a press release, dated Oct. 4, that it will cease all operations effective 7 a.m., Oct. 12.
The release said the closure results from St. Mark’s “ongoing inability to meet its financial obligations.”
Earlier this year, St. Mark’s transitioned to Rural Emergency Hospital (REH) designation that preserved emergency department services and most outpatient care while additional funding was pursued to offset a $13 million debt from mortgage, years of revenue shortfalls and rapidly escalating expenses, according to the release.
“Even with the new REH designation, the Board was clear that St. Mark’s needed additional outside financial support to pay the hospital’s mortgage,” said Dudley Piland, St. Mark’s Board Chair. “After several unsuccessful efforts to garner support, Hospital Centers of Excellence (HCOE), a local group of investors, stepped up with a plan that might be able to secure funding to continue healthcare services to the community.”
“The Board commends HCOE for their efforts and determination. Unfortunately, servicing the hospital’s liabilities and mortgage debt was apparently too great. HCOE’s plan and strategy to preserve healthcare services were sound; financing just did not come through,” Piland continued. “St. Mark’s would have faced closure years earlier had it not been for COVID-related funding and an agreement with the hospital’s mortgage lender and HUD to pay less than the full mortgage since February 2020.””
The Texas Health and Human Services Commission recently granted payments of $187,500 per quarter for six quarters to support Texas REHs, and the La Grange Economic Development Corporation pledged $500,000 toward capital improvements. However, the release said those funds are not sufficient to overcome the mortgage debt payments of approximately $160,000 per month and other expenses of the hospital.
Piland added, “Closure is certainly not the outcome that anyone wanted for our community, the staff or their families. But without the additional local funding support HCOE was seeking, the hospital is out of options.”
The release said human resource representatives are assisting staff members with information regarding unemployment and COBRA benefits.
- The Oct. 12 closure includes all hospital services within the hospital and those hospital services provided in the adjacent medical office building
- Sleep studies will not be performed after Oct. 10
- Outpatients will not be scheduled for future visits after Oct. 11
- Austin Heart, the VA Clinic, and Tru-Skin Dermatology are independent practices not associated with the hospital. Patients should contact these respective offices for further information.
- Patients of Daniel A. White, M.D. are advised to contact his office for further information.
Patients needing emergency care should call 911, or go to the closest Emergency facility for treatment.