• September 19, 2019

MCH to be designated level III trauma center - Odessa American: News

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MCH to be designated level III trauma center

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Posted: Monday, July 1, 2019 2:00 pm

A press release issued by Medical Center Hospital Monday afternoon stated MCH would be designated a level III trauma center starting Aug. 1, a demotion from their current level II status. 

“The assignment comes after a survey by the American College of Surgeons in August of 2018,” the release stated. “They found deficiencies within the trauma department, mainly regarding backup physician specialty call coverage.”

However, the release continued, MCH expects to be restored to a level II trauma center about six weeks after their newest survey is conducted Aug. 9. 

A letter sent to MCH Interim CEO Robert Abernethy last week states MCH’s level II designation would be extended until Aug. 1 due to the time needed to complete the final phase of the designation process, which begins with reviewing the survey report and ends with the Texas Department of State Health Services Commissioner’s final decision. 

Ector County Hospital District 5 Board Member Don Hallmark said the designation was not as dramatic as it sounded. 

“It’s just about not having a specific number of people on call, and when you miss that your obligation is to let the people know,” Hallmark said. “The best I can tell Robert’s doing everything humanly possible to make sure everything taken care of.” 

Hallmark said no one’s care has been altered in anyway and that care would not change. He said the hospital wouldn’t be paid at the same rate as they are currently. 

“The number of doctors, anything, it’s not gonna change,” Hallmark said. “The level of designation...if it were to be removed, it’s a matter of time to put it back in order.” 

Hallmark said MCH knew they were in violation, and that their designation would be changed, and then they filed documentation to extend their designation so they would have time to solve the issue. 

“If there’s not an appropriate amount of people at that time for calls then what that means is there’s specific doctors for every specific field that have to be on call 24/7,” Hallmark said. “That’s the problem that has to be solved and that just means having the right people in place to make the calls.”


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