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City hires hospital consultants

ORANGE — Orange City Council agrees the citizens of Orange, city and county, deserve the best medical care available. Vidor City Council agreed in a three – two vote on Thursday night to contribute funding to the cost of the NewLight Market Study.

As steps move forward in establishing a Veterans Administration Hospital facility in Orange, the need for non-military citizens is also being addressed as the council agreed to hire a consultant to focus on the needs of the community.

In a memorandum to the mayor and city council, the scope of the work by NewLight Healthcare will be a financial pro forma for a new hospital in Orange County.

Pro forma is a Latin term meaning “for the sake of form”. In accounting, indicating hypothetical financial figures based on previous business operations for estimate purposes, according to dictionary.com.

The hospital will be between 15-40 beds with six -10 emergency room beds.

The cost of the study is $40,000 including approved expenses and can be completed within 90-120 days.

NewLight Healthcare, formed in April 2010, is based in Austin, Texas.

A study by the firm will include a demographic/service needs assessment for the area, which will also outline the income profile of residents within the area. Such a report will also show the actual medical expenditures regional hospitals in the area are benefiting from local patients.

“Stakeholders realized we need a demographic study,” City Manager Dr. Shawn Oubre said. “Without one it is hard to find other investors. This is the next step to try and get back inpatient care.”

Oubre also said this was for the county, healthcare issues and for a quality of life for residents.

“They are willing to partner with us for the long haul,” Oubre said.

County Judge Stephen “Brint” Carlton and City of Orange Mayor Jimmy Sims met with the group prior to the resolution presented to the council.

NewLight Healthcare would operate the facility, if built.

“NewLight Healthcare has structured a team of experts to lead this transformation and to assist with the numerous challenges facing healthcare organization.  Our team was created with a clear emphasis on Revenue Cycle Management (RCM) because this complex process is at the core of most cash flow issues facing healthcare organizations today,” according to its website.

“Everyday is critical to make this work and an incentive for physicians,” Mayor Jimmy Sims said.

Not all are in agreement for a county hospital.

Vidor Councilman Gary Herrera voted against assisting with the funding for the study.

“Why pay for a study that will not benefit us or the hospital is put on the opposite side of the county,” Herrera said. “Common sense to me is it will not be put on this side of the county.”

The purpose of the study is to determine size, location and if a hospital would be viable to the area.

“It is better to try to do something instead of nothing at all and wish we had later,” Shawn Oubre said “Everyday lost makes it more difficult. The City of Orange agreed to pay the fee upfront and collect contributions for it later.”

NewLight Market Study began a week ago.

Vidor will contribute $3,600 towards the study.