Posted on Dec 03, 2021
To say the last nearly two years of treating and managing a global pandemic has been difficult for the nurses, doctors and staff at Palo Pinto General Hospital would be a gross understatement.
However, the vision of the hospital’s administrators and trustees never wavered. Plans were perhaps delayed in some cases, but progress was always going forward behind the scenes.
Rotarian and Hospital CEO Ross Korkmas on Wednesday brought club members current on recent service additions and expansions and new providers over the past couple of years. He is pictured with this week's program Chair Megan Hudson.
PPGH operates under the Palo Pinto County Hospital District, a government subdivision that levies a county-wide tax to help pay for indigent care. The tax revenue generated by the district pays for roughly half of the charity care PPGH annually provides. In the last fiscal year, PPGH reported $12.9 million in charity care provided and $9.3 million in bad debt – costs of patient care that were not recoverable.
Hospital salaries run $23.3 million annually, while medical supplies cost $7.6 million. Ross said it costs PPGH about $152,750 a day to operate all facilities.
When PPGH had to essentially close the main hospital to the public, it allowed the hospital to move forward with contracting a new food service provider and remodel its cafeteria. While the food was good before, it is even better now with more options and food that is fresher and healthier.
Ross touted the hospital’s tele-medicine services that use technology to bring providers and specialists from anywhere in Texas or the world to a patient at PPGH. Among the offerings are tele-pulmonology and critical care, tele-infectious disease, out-patient tele-pulmonology, Palo Pinto Cares for Kids program at the schools and tele-psychiatry for in-patients and PPGH clinics.
Speaking of clinics, Ross discussed the new PPGH family health clinic combined with a new Emergency Services District No. 1 ambulance station located at Possum Kingdom Lake at the intersection of Park Road 36 and FM Road 2353. He commended the fact that the new facility is an example of two government subdivisions working together to improve services and care for county residents where it is needed. Ross said he and the hospital district will continue to explore other opportunities to expand care to people in other areas of the county.
Ross also discussed medical costs transparencies and bundled pricing options so people can go to PPGH’s website and see what the total costs of a procedure would be. This way, they can essentially shop and compare costs with other providers and plan financially.
He said PPGH will continue seeking ways to expand health care services and options to meet the growth and demand for services, to keep more patients at PPGH and better serve Palo Pinto County.