HCA's East Houston Regional Medical Center unable to weather the storm
HCA-owned East Houston Regional Medical Center closed Friday closed Nov. 10 as it could not recover from the flood damage it sustained from Hurricane Harvey, the HCA Gulf Coast Division wrote on its website.
The facility on the campus of Bayshore Medical Center in Houston, which was evacuated on Aug. 25, was the only HCA facility that remained closed following the storm. While the Nashville-based hospital chain will try to transfer employees to other facilities including Bayshore, up to 479 jobs are impacted, effective Friday, according to a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification sent to the Texas Workforce Commission.
The medical center has endured three storms since 2000, including Tropical Storm Allison in 2001 and Hurricane Ike in 2008. It rebuilt many times, but could not rebound this go-around, executives said. Although it is equipped with flood gates designed to withstand 3 feet of water, East Houston Regional Medical Center took nearly 6 feet, according to a news release.
"Our team looked at every potential option for continuing to treat patients at the facility. In the interest of safety, we have determined there was no way to continue operations at this current site. It's just not the safest way forward for our patients or our employees," Troy Villarreal, HCA Healthcare Gulf Coast Division president, said in a statement, adding that patients can still get care at the nearby Bayshore Medical Center and Clear Lake Regional Medical Center facilities.
Hurricanes Harvey and Irma made a $140 million dent in HCA's financials, the company said in its third-quarter earnings report. HCA also lost about $50 million from the Texas Medicaid waiver-related cuts. As the company endured the hit to revenue and admissions, it reported a net income of $426 million on revenue of $10.7 billion on the quarter, down from $618 million net income on revenue of $10.3 billion the quarter prior.
Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization totaled $1.78 billion compared with $1.96 billion last year.
The HCA Gulf Coast Division now includes 14 acute-care hospitals, three specialty hospitals, seven off-campus emergency centers, nine ambulatory surgery centers, around 10,000 active physicians and 15,000 employees. Past patients of East Houston Regional Medical Center can obtain their medical records from Bayshore Medical Center.
"It has been an honor to serve the families of East Houston and the surrounding communities at East Houston Regional Medical Center. Our physician and hospital staffs have been dedicated and top notch throughout the years and we thank them for their service," Villarreal said.
A condensed version of this story can also be found in Modern Healthcare's Nov. 13 print edition.
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