Lakeway is making headlines for a recent acquisition that Lake Travis residents should be excited about.
Baylor Scott & White Health, which currently operates nearly 50 hospitals in Texas, signed an agreement to purchase Lakeway Regional Medical Center (LRMC). If all goes well, expectations are that LRMC will be renamed Baylor Scott & White Medical Center Lakeway by the end of the summer.
The new name isn’t short and sweet — BSWMCL?! What a mouthful! — but the transition is a step in the right direction.
A big and well-respected name like Baylor Scott & White attracts (and retains) more collaboration with Central Texas providers, which means a stronger offering of medical services (from trauma to specialty), physicians, surgeons, staff as well as improved medical resources.
Cleaning up the past
As you’ve probably heard through the grapevine, the road has been bumpy for LRMC, which has existed as a small independent 106-bed hospital since it opened in 2012.
The “bumps” included financial woes like defaulting on a $164 million federal loan and a 200-page report from Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) that cited numerous violations that were so serious the hospital almost lost Medicare and Medicaid funding.
If it scares you that the words “violations” and “hospital” exist in the same sentence, it should. The CMS report listed things like incorrect lab results that led to unnecessary procedures, unsanitary kitchen conditions, a lack of stroke or chest pain protocols and poorly trained nurses who failed to monitor patients properly — patients with unstable vitals.
Even though a plan of action was put in place to save the funding and correct the hospital’s shortcomings, CMS received similar complaints about poor patient care again. This time CMS asked the Texas Department of State Health Services to inspect the hospital. The inspection produced a 19-page federal Statement of Deficiencies outlining the same kinds of issues found in previous reports.
Now for the good news …
In June 2015, Lakeway Regional Medical Center turned over a new leaf and abandoned its once rocky path for smooth sailing. LRMC brought in specialists in the neuroscience and cardiology fields and received a $3.5 million investment in May for expansion and more staff.
Enter Baylor Scott & White
It’s okay to get your hopes up about improved medical care in the Lake Travis area because Baylor Scott & White delivers on their promises. Since actions speak louder than words, let’s take a look at a similar situation with Scott & White Health System and Baylor Health Care System in Dallas.
When the two organizations first merged in 2013 and created the largest non-for-profit health care system in the state of Texas, promises were made about improved health care with more affordable costs. The former skeptics who have witnessed this merger unfold over the years in D-town are now believers. Great things were promised and great things have happened.
That being said, fast-forward to today and you’ll see Baylor Scott & White hospitals are attracting the top specialists and surgeons in the world, which means better medical care and services for patients young and old.
What can you expect for medical care in Lake Travis?
Some of the changes coming to Lakeway Regional Medical Center include expanding neurosurgery, orthopedics and cardiology, as well as being more prominent as a stroke center. Plus, the hospital will focus on expanding existing departments like orthopedics, obstetrics/gynecology and oncology.
Overall, Baylor Scott & White has a vision for the Lake Travis community — from our seniors to our newborns — that includes exceptional care and patient satisfaction. And that’s something to be happy about.