Doctor’s Hospital Outlines Growth Plans

“We want to be daring and take on the biggest challenges that we can face,” he said. “We are no longer waiting for cures to come to use but we want to make that cure.”

Doctor’s Hospital outlines growth plans during speech

KRISTEN MOSBRUCKER | STAFF WRITER  | Posted 13 hours ago

EDINBURG — Doctor’s Hospital at Renaissance continues to look locally to expand.

The Rio Grande Valley’s only doctor-owned hospital wants to double its capacity, train physician specialists and its own technicians and nurses. And it hopes to look to local residents to fill those jobs, Israel Rocha, the hospital’s chief executive, said during its first “state of the hospital” address Thursday evening.

“We want to be daring and take on the biggest challenges that we can face,” he said. “We are no longer waiting for cures to come to use but we want to make that cure.”

Rocha outlined plans for a new 300-bed medical tower equipped with a helipad, an eight-bay ambulatory trauma center, an 80-bed emergency room and 18 operating suites — but only if approved by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid. There’s a planned 1,000 spot parking lot and a private hotel in the works.

Overall, the improvements would cost $200 million.

Rival private hospitals have criticized the doctor-owned hospital’s ambitious expansion plan, petitioning federal regulators to deny it, saying the hospital has not done its part to provide enough uncompensated care to low-income and indigent patients.

In 2014, Doctor’s Hospital grossed $1.85 billion, according to Medicare and Medicaid payment data calculated by the Becker’s Hospital Review. During that same year, the hospital provided $137 million worth of uncompensated charity care.

Doctor’s Hospital invested $60 million on its graduate medical education program and boasts 90 current residents. Plans for a new health science institute aimed to train medical administrators, radiology technicians and nursing assistants were described as part of the expansion.

“We are committed to building a robust healthcare infrastructure. As we’ve grown there’s new healthcare (jobs) availability for technicians like radiologists,” Rocha said. “We want to certify our own local men and women.”

Leaders from the new University of Texas Rio Grande Valley said both organizations are working for similar goals.

“Just as there have been issues with access to healthcare in the Valley, there’s been the same with education,” said Guy Bailey, president of the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley.

The hospital employs about 700 doctors and 1,200 nurses. There are about 470 partner doctors in the Rio Grande Valley with investment in the system. About 70,000 babies have been delivered at the hospital, bigger than the city of Harlingen.

Bailey quipped the hospital’s growth will come in tandem with the region — and its new public university.

“In 10 year’s time, if DHR will continue delivering babies at that rate we’ll have about 40,000 students,” he said.

kmosbrucker@themonitor.com  

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