Cook Children’s Says Census Snag Will Force Hospital To Close, Reopen as Surgical Center

Article by Shawn Shinneman

Hurst-based Cook Children’s Northeast Hospital will close on April 20 and begin a transition to become an ambulatory surgery center, with the new name of Cook Children’s Surgery Center, according to a news release. Here’s how the release from Cook Children’s Health Care System describes the decision:

In late 2017, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a memo defining the overnight census requirement to operate as a hospital. Cook Children’s Northeast Hospital, located at 6316 Precinct Line Road in Hurst, Texas, does not meet the census requirement and will no longer be able to operate as a hospital.

The memo referenced—I believe I’ve located it here—contains CMS’ move to redefine what constitutes who can or can’t call themselves a hospital under Medicare and Medicaid. Under the new definition, things like average daily census and average daily stay can be taken into consideration.

The memo casts those merely as pieces to the puzzle, but it appears Cook Children’s leadership has determined it won’t be able to overcome the census requirement. (I’ve reached out to gauge how they made the call, and I’ll update here or post anew if and when I get answers.)

The release says only that the board that oversees the hospital made the decision on the new direction. Cook Children’s says it will “assume ownership and operations of the Urgent Care Clinic, Imaging Center, and Draw station at this location” on April 23.

The surgical center will open on May 1 and run as a joint venture between Cook Children’s, NueHealth, and physician investors.

The transition will result in 150 lost jobs, the release said.


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