Texas Rural and Community Hospitals Can Help Texas Address COVID-19 Crisis

As Texas, like the rest of the country, comes to grips with the likelihood that the COVID-19 pandemic means most communities will face overwhelming demand on our healthcare delivery system, state leaders should consider utilizing a long-neglected asset to help address the crisis. Texas rural and community hospitals are ready and capable of being a valuable contributor to the state’s response to the corona virus crisis.

Gov. Abbott said as much in his Sunday press conference, noting the role that Texas rural hospitals could and should play in addressing the coming pandemic as the state sent out its all-hands-on deck call. But for rural and community hospitals to contribute fully, the state must make plays today to include them in the contingency funding plans being put in place for an anticipated shortage of hospital capacity in the next 30 or 60 days.  READ MORE



Attorneys for Knox County Hospital say the state’s $10 million fine of Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) for mishandling out-of-network emergency claims and providing incorrect information to consumers demonstrates that a much broader review of BCBS is merited. The Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) announced Friday that the fine reflects that there were significant issues including violation of the state’s prompt payment statute. The insurance giant was also ordered to pay restitution to consumers harmed by its actions. BCBS has agreed to pay the fine within 30 days and complete restitution payments by the end of the year. This agreed to TDI’s order after TDI conducted a market conduct examination on BCBS from January 1, and ending in September 30, 2018.

“There is no doubt other entities that have been harmed by this chronic callous treatment. Clearly, the pattern of behavior by BCBS merits a broader review by TDI,” said Kelly Dawson attorney for Knox County Hospital. “BCBS owes Knox County Hospital more than $20 million in unpaid claims. Although we are seeking relief in federal court, the state remains responsible for regulating BCBS” added Dawson. This is the same pattern of conduct TDI found BCBS in violation of. As cited by the order, BCBS has a system programming error which caused the issues. This is not unlike what was told to Knox.”

Innovative approach helps hospital survive & thrive

While the state of Texas continues to lead the nation in rural hospital closures, the Knox County Hospital was named as one of the 2017 Top Rural Hospitals in the United States. The hospital has greatly expanded services, including providing lab services for hospitals outside of Knox County. In addition to operating a 14-bed, non-profit, acute care facility serving the county and surrounding areas, the Knox County Hospital District operates two rural clinics, a pharmacy, nursing home and other ancillary services.

The District also owns and operates Knox County Retail Pharmacy, Munday Nursing Center, and Seymour Medical (DME). Whether your healthcare needs are urgent or chronic, we welcome you to experience compassionate and personalized care provided by people you know.

As your hometown healthcare team, the District offers many services designed to improve community health and wellness and include Inpatient, Swing Bed, Level IV Trauma Center, Laboratory, Radiology, Physical Therapy, Cardiac Rehabilitation, Speech Therapy, Knox County EMS, Home Health, and 2 Rural Health Clinics.