The Maverick County Hospital District Board (MCHD) of Trustees held a meeting on Tuesday, September 25 in which they had a lively discussion over Dr referrals to the MCHD Physicians Specialty Group.
Present during the discussion was Fort Duncan Regional Medical Center CEO Eladio Montalvo and CFO Joel Morales who participated in the discussion.
Montalvo stated that the ultimate goal was to provide the necessary medical attention not just to our community but the entire area including surrounding communities. “I’m glad we’re working together to bring in specialist and health care providers that this area needs that we don’t have, We want to be able to bring doctors that everyone will benefit from,” added Montalvo.”We don’t want anyone to have to go out of town. It puts a burden on our citizens.”
MCHD Board Member Chuco Farias stated “The message is very clear that we want our local Dr’s to refer to us first. If we can’t provide the service then they have to go out. All the Dr’s should be working with us and using our specialist.”
The MCHD Board then brought up their concern of the lack of Dr referrals to the MCHD specialist care providers.
MCHD Board President Adolfo Olivares concurred with Farias’s sentiment. “In this two years I’ve seen the lack of referrals from our local physicians to our specialists.We’re concerned about that because we’re bringing in the physician specialist. We have them but yet they continue sending their patients out of town. When you have a patient who is already sick and then you put the burden on them to have to travel out of town. We want to put a stop to that as much as we can.”
The group expressed their concern about the number of referrals that are being sent out of town instead of to the specialist services being provided under the taxpayer-funded MCHD unless they’re indigent then they do get sent over.
A review of the January to June 2018 MCHD Physicians Specialty Group Referring report from local primary care physicians was conducted. What’s seen on the report shows that 546 referrals were made to MCHD between 10 Private Practice Dr’s. Compared to referrals from two Dr’s from another publicly funded clinic who combined, referred 600 patients to the MCHD during the same time.
The differences in the number of referrals could have various explanations that should be made public to clarify such differences in totals or clear out the concern.