PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

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April 30, 2013

Groves hospital locks doors

GROVES — Locked doors, an empty parking lot and unanswered phone lines say what officials at Renaissance Hospital Groves have not — that the facility is, at least temporarily, not taking patients.

On Monday, the 49-bed general and medical facility at 5500 39th St., in Groves was closed. Hospital maintenance personal said services would be suspended for two-to-three weeks.

Numerous phone calls placed to Renaissance Hospital administrators by The News were not returned Monday.

Renaissance officials did, however, notify Acadian Ambulance Service on Friday, Brandon Hebert, director of operations with Acadian Ambulance, said.

“We got a call on Friday, April 26, notifying us the hospital would be closed until further notice,” Hebert said.

Groves City Manager D. E. Sosa said he called hospital officials Monday to determine if rumors of the facility’s closing were true.

“I have not been able to confirm, my phone calls have not been returned,” Sosa said.

Problems at the Groves hospital are not new.

Nearly a year ago, in May,  Renaissance announced it was under new management after the hospital’s former chief executive officer, and former clinical and administrative personnel were terminated from their positions.

At the time, Foundation Surgical Hospital Affiliates, an Oklahoma City, Okla. hospital management company was tapped to manage the facility. The management company is no longer serving in that capacity.

Renaissance Groves was inspected by the Texas Department of State Health Services in January 2012. A month later, the Groves hospital was notified that Medicare would not allow the hospital to participate in the program until deficiencies were corrected and a period of reasonable reassurance was met.

Hebert said Acadian had only, in the past month or so, started to transport ambulance patients back to the hospital.

Though he doesn’t know how long the hospital will be closed, Sosa said he expected to see a loss of revenue mainly from sales tax money generated by the hospital’s 80 to 100 employees.

“As one of the top 10 employers in the city, we will see less people buying things,” Sosa said. “It will not kill our economy, but it will not help it. They fuel the business community in Groves.”

The city of Groves also derives property tax revenue from Renaissance Hospital, as well as revenue from water, sewer and garbage collection.

“We want them to stay; we want them to stay healthy,” Sosa said.

E-mail: skoonce@panews.com

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