EL PASO, August 29, 2014 – Approximately $1 million additional federal healthcare dollars a year will be flowing to El Paso County thanks to a collaborative effort by local hospitals. University Medical Center (UMC), the Sierra Providence Network, Las Palmas, Del Sol, Foundation Surgical Hospital of El Paso and Foundation HealthCare today agreed to apply as a group for geographic reclassification under the Medicare Hospital Inpatient Prospective Payment System.
The reclassification will place El Paso County into the Las Cruces geographic region, which has a higher wage index. That will result in an increase in the Medicare base operating and capital payments that local hospitals receive over the three years beginning October 1, 2015. We all know that every added resource counts and is needed in El Paso.
County Judge Veronica Escobar stated, “Though competitors, it is heartening to know that our local hospitals are willing to work together as a team to maximize healthcare dollars for our county. I personally want to thank each of the hospital leaders involved: Jim Valenti of UMC, Eric Evans of Providence Memorial Hospital and Tenet Market CEO, Sally Deitch of Sierra Providence East Medical Center, Monica Vargas of Sierra Medical Center, Hank Hernandez of Las Palmas, Jacob Cintron of Del Sol, Omar Garza of Foundation Surgical Hospital of El Paso, and Tom Michaud of Foundation Surgical Hospital of El Paso who also chairs Foundation HealthCare.”
This initiative demonstrates that our community hospitals not only recognize the great need in El Paso County, but are willing to do everything that they can to maximize the healthcare resources that are available locally, and will work together for this common goal. They are to be commended.