Our TCR Issue

Open Letter from the Anson Hospital

To The Citizens of Anson,

 

Anson General Hospital opened its doors in September 1952 and since that time has been providing continuous health care to our community. In the beginning, the community felt that the hospital would never need tax support and provisions were not made to provide the hospital with that support. Over the years, our federal and state governments have made many changes in reimbursement and licensing rules that have adversely affected our hospital as well as many others. Our patient population has also grown smaller as has our community. The hospital has been able to weather many of these changes by working very hard to cut costs and make adjustments without coming to our community for additional support. Hospital staff has been cut, employees' hours have been reduced for over a year, and every effort to renegotiate service contracts and prices from our vendors has been taken. As many of you know, we closed our Home Health agency as a result of reductions in reimbursement and patient volumes. Several years ago a tax election was held to help subsidize the ambulance service but it was defeated. The hospital continued to provide that service to Anson and the surrounding area while absorbing a loss every month. Recently, the hospital approached the city regarding assuming the operations of the ambulance and this transfer of ownership is underway. All of these measures have been taken to continue operations of the core hospital—inpatient and emergency care.

Unfortunately, due to these and other circumstances beyond our control, namely continued decreases reimbursement, stricter guidelines for patient admissions and services, increasing charity and indigent write-offs, and increasing costs of supplies, medications, and services, we must come now to our community with a drastic appeal for support. The hospital needs to raise at least $1 million in the very near future or the reality that it will have to close its doors and cease providing care to our community. Without your support, the reality is that the hospital will close and not only will nearly 100 people lose their jobs, our community will no longer have a local hospital and emergency room.

An account for private donations has been set up at the First National Bank in Anson. We have received generous donations in the past which allowed for improvements to the physical plant of the hospital. Now, we need donations to continue operations.

In addition, there will be a hospital tax election on the ballot in November if the hospital is still in operation at that time. Without additional sources of regular revenue, the hospital will not survive. Jones County has two other hospitals who operate with tax district support and without that support would likely not survive. Think about members of your family who are alive today because Anson General Hospital was open and they were able to get emergency care without driving 20-30 minutes for that care. Rural hospitals all over Texas and America are closing. Anson General Hospital does not want to be counted in those numbers. We want to continue providing the healthcare you have come to expect but without your support, we will become another casualty of the failing healthcare system. With the support of our community through donations and support of a hospital tax, we hope to continue to provide that care.

Respectfully,

The Governing Board of Anson General Hospital

/s/ Max Murray, Board President

/s/ Kay Haynes, Board Vice President

/s/ Linda White, Board Secretary-Treasurer

/s/ Angela Ramirez, City council member

/s/ Don Doty

/s/ Kelly Stovall

/s/ Gopichand Kapu, M. D., Chief of Staff

/s/ Adrienne Bides Campbell

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