Llano Memorial Hospital near critical access designation


Llano County’s Hospital Authority Board heard Thursday that the process of getting a critical access designation for Llano Memorial Hospital is “99.9 percent complete” and the board expects approval before the end of the year.

That “critical access” designation is seen as vital for the hospital to survive after Baylor Scott & White Healthcare’s contract to operate the hospital expires at the end of the year. Mid Coast Healthcare of El Campo is poised to take over hospital operations on or about New Year’s Day, the board heard.

Baylor Scott & White told the county earlier this year that it would not renew a 10-year contract to operate the hospital. Since then, the hospital authority board has interviewed at least four hospital operators before settling on Mid Coast to carry on.

Board member Pat McDowell, who has been tracking the survey required before the designation can be granted, said some areas were classed as “conditional,” meaning things had to be corrected before the survey would be approved. Baylor Scott & White said those corrections woule be made “before the end of the week,” McDowell said.

It looks like “we’re gong to get the (critical acces) status,” he said.

“We’re comfortable that Mid Coast will be able to start Jan. 1 or very close to that,” said board President Robert Wallace.

“It’s been a huge cooperation among (Llano) county, Baylor Scott & White and Mid Coast,” Wallace said.

Also scheduled for Jan. 1 is the takeover of ambulance service by the Hamilton (County) Hospital District. Baylor Scott & White has also been operating the ambulances and said it could continue, but the Hamilton district could assume the task through a simple interlocal agreement, which didn’t require contract bids and approvals.

Hamilton EMS already operates ambulances in Hill and San Saba counties as well as Hamilton County.