January 18, 2012
The Central Health Board of Managers approved on Wednesday, Jan. 18 a contract with St. David’s Medical Center to assume provision of services previously offered through the Austin Women’s Hospital (AWH). The contract, totaling $480,000, is effective on Monday, Jan. 23 and extends through September. The contract may be extended for three, one-year terms, at a cost of $700,000 per year.
Austin Women’s Hospital has delivered approximately 1,500 babies in each year of operation, primarily to women who receive prenatal care at CommUnityCare, Central Health’s affiliated Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) system. According to the contract, St. David’s will provide delivery services as well as planned elective sterilization procedures to approximately 850 of those patients. The remainder of the deliveries will take place at University Medical Center Brackenridge (UMCB). Central Health is committed to a seamless transition of these services over the coming weeks. The physician group will remain the same, so referral patterns will not change and no disruptions in service delivery should occur.
Prior to Central Health’s creation, the City of Austin owned UMCB and AWH, as well as the leases for their operation. Upon its establishment in 2004, ownership of both the hospitals and leases were transferred to Central Health. University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (UTMB) has operated the AWH as a “hospital within a hospital” on the fifth floor of UMCB since that time. Last year, UTMB informed Central Health they no longer wished to operate the hospital.
Central Health is presently exploring other options for the space within UMCB previously occupied by AWH, which is scheduled to cease operation on Feb. 9.