Voters in east Chambers County, Texas, approved the creation of a public hospital district to support 25-bed Winnie (Texas) Community Hospital, a critical-access hospital owned by a local investor. The district will be able to levy a sales tax of up to 0.9%, which would raise about $300,000 annually, said Albert Schwarzer, managing partner of Frontier Healthcare Group, Fort Worth, which operates the hospital under a 10-year lease. Schwarzer said Winnie Community is believed to be the only investor-owned hospital in Texas that will be supported by a public hospital district. The hospital lost about $400,000 on revenue of $3.5 million last year, primarily from indigent emergency care, Schwarzer said. Without tax support, the hospital would be forced to cut services or delay capital improvements and eventually might face closure, he said. -- by Mary Chris Jaklevic
Texas county OKs tax support for private hospital
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