Rural hospitals take hit with elective procedures ban - FOX34 Lubbock

Rural hospitals take hit with elective procedures ban

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LUBBOCK, Texas -

New legislation provides $100 billion in funding for hospitals. $25 million of that goes towards rural ones.

"We were already losing hospitals, well-over a hundred over the last several years because it has just been an unsustainable system," Lubbock Congressman Jodey Arrington said. 

Jerry Jasper, Brownfield Medical Regional Center's CEO, said while the $25 million helps in the short term, for most of them it's just a band-aid. 

"It will help us right now but the thing about it is it's a loan. At the end of the day we have to pay it back," Jasper said. "If we're already struggling and we get this loan just to cover the expense that we don't have revenue right now, when are we going to be able to pay it back?"

One of the main reasons these hospitals are struggling; the ban of elective procedures (surgeries scheduled in advance because it doesn't involve a medical emergency). 

"Not being able to do procedures like colonoscopies and gynecology procedures does affect our bottom line," Jasper said. 

In the Texas rural market alone, there are 7,500 beds available. Jasper hopes if bad turns to worse, bigger and rural hospitals can patient swap. 

"We can take the non-COVID patients if Texas has the same surge as New York, we can take them to cities like Lubbock and they can have more of the specialists and intensivists and stuff like that to care for those patients."

Jasper says they are still there for their community. 


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