Fort Worth Star-Telegram, August 9, 2010

The county hospital will build two new operating rooms under a $649 million budget unanimously approved Saturday by the Tarrant County Hospital Board. The new operating rooms will help reduce what can be a six- to nine-month wait for some procedures such as hip and knee replacements, officials said. The hospital currently has 10 operating rooms, two of which must be reserved for trauma and heart patients. Other priorities included in the budget are money for an electronic medical records system and the addition of new open-heart surgery procedures. Open-heart surgery patients were previously transferred to other hospitals. The network is facing an $8 million loss in property tax revenue and a $2 million to $4 million drop in reimbursement for treating Medicaid patients in fiscal year 2011, which starts Oct. 1. But CEO Robert Earley said the network would absorb the lost revenue through efficiency measures, and the losses will not hurt patient care.



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