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County without an emergency room tries to change that fact

Posted at 8:00 PM, Apr 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-29 18:48:05-04

ROCKPORT, Texas — When Code 3 Emergency Room closed soon after receiving a monthly payment from Aransas County intended to help the ER pay its doctors, and county leaders were disappointed.

“We made our last payment in April -- first part of April -- and two days later they closed," Aransas Co. Judge Burt Mills said. "And they did promise us they were here to help us out for the long haul in Aransas County. But business is business.”

Code 3 ER closed despite receiving $37,500 checks from the county for the past eight or nine months or so, Mills estimates.

A hospital director at another Code 3 ER that closed in the Dallas area earlier this month said doctors, nurses, and staff members there hadn't received pay for the month of March.

Dr. Maryjo Gonzalez, who worked at the Code 3 in Rockport, said that's also the case for her and her coworkers.

Dr. Carrie de Moor, President of Code 3 Emergency Physicians, P.A. released the following statement:

“Code 3 Emergency Physicians, P.A. is appalled by the decisions made by a private equity fund managed by Morgan Stanley, which has been in control of various Code 3 finances affecting Code 3 Emergency Physicians. Our healthcare providers are heroic members of the front line forces fighting COVID-19 who are not being paid for the services they have provided the citizens of Texas. Our physicians are owed over $1 million in wages for their work caring for Texans in need and now these Texans are left without immediate access to these providers.”

Mills said it's possible Code 3 could reopen some day, but he's setting his sights on opening a county-owned emergency room. He said the Texas General Land Office has approved a $9.9 million grant to buy a building and renovate it.

He said paperwork is holding up the money, but he that he and other county leaders will continue to fight for it.

“We’re going to go another route -- talk to (the GLO) some more -- get it going," Mills said.

He added that only when the county receives the grant will a construction timeline be created, and an ER opening date predicted.

"The longer it takes to get the money, the longer it takes to get it built,” he said.