El Paso area’s 1st microhospital to open Sept. 6 in Horizon City

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The final touches are being put on the El Paso area’s first microhospital, which is scheduled to open Sept. 6 in Horizon City.

The $18 million-plus hospital is a cross between a free-standing emergency room and a regular hospital, Allie Lozano, CEO of The Hospitals of Providence’s Horizon City microhospital, said as she gave news media members a tour of the facility Wednesday morning.

“This gives us the opportunity to get care into a community” that doesn’t have the population to support a full-service hospital, which costs well over $100 million, Lozano said.

Providence, owned by Tenet Healthcare Corp., a large national hospital chain, has five other El Paso hospitals, including a children’s hospital.

One side of the Horizon City hospital is an emergency room with eight beds in eight exam rooms, and the other side is an inpatient hospital with eight beds in five rooms. The facility also has a lab, a pharmacy, a CT scanner and other imaging equipment.

Outside, near the parking lot, is a helicopter pad to bring patients in or transfer patients to full-service hospitals.

The Hospitals of Providence and Emerus, a company based in the Houston area, have partnered to open a microhospital at 13600 Horizon Blvd. in Horizon City.

(Photo: VIC KOLENC/EL PASO TIMES)

It’s located at 13600 Horizon Blvd., just down the street from a Walmart Supercenter, which opened in October 2013.

Providence partnered with Emerus, a Houston area-based company that does joint ventures with large hospital chains to build microhospitals — a growing trend in the health care industry.

Emerus has helped build about 25 microhospitals in Texas and four other states, according to company information. It has another 25 in development.

Providence and Emerus plan to put another microhospital in Northeast El Paso next year near McCombs Street and the Patriot Freeway, Lozano said.

A helicopter pad is next to the parking lot at the new Hospitals of Providence microhospital in Horizon City.

(Photo: VIC KOLENC/EL PASO TIMES)

“Our community is growing at such a rapid rate, and to have this facility is a great improvement to our community. It improves our quality of life,” said Horizon City Mayor Ruben Mendoza, who planned to take part in a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the hospital Wednesday evening.

Horizon City, on the edge of El Paso’s eastern city limits, has a population of more than 19,000, according to a 2016 U.S. Census Bureau estimate. The population is larger if housing subdivisions in nearby, unincorporated county areas are included.

Health care services are scarce in Horizon City, Mendoza said. Las Palmas Del Sol Healthcare, which operates two El Paso hospitals, has an urgent-care clinic there.

“We hope this spawns” the opening of doctors’ offices and other health care facilities in Horizon City, Mendoza said.

Providence’s Horizon City building has about 20,000 square feet of empty space on the second floor that possibly could be used for doctors’ offices, Lozano said. However, Providence officials want to first see whether patient demand is strong enough to warrant using that space to expand the hospital, she said.

The hospital accepts any emergency patients, but will have to transfer them to full-service hospitals if they require surgery or other services not provided at the Horizon City facility, Lozano said.

This is an emergency exam room at the new Hospitals of Providence microhospital in Horizon City.

(Photo: MARK LAMBIE/EL PASO TIMES)

The hospital has no operating room and won’t deliver babies, unless it became an emergency delivery, she said.

“If a patient needs surgery or a cat (catheterization) lab procedure,” or other service not provided at Horizon City, the patient “will be stabilized and transferred,” Lozano said.

Patients would be admitted to the inpatient hospital beds for such things as treating diabetes wounds, for certain intravenous procedures, or for overnight observation if doctors feel that is warranted, she said.

The hospital employs 72 people, including about 30 nurses, and that’s expected to climb to about 100 people soon, she said.

Lozano previously was regional director of operations for MedPost Urgent Care centers. MedPost is operated by Tenet Healthcare.

“We think we will be very busy from the time we open Sept. 6, at 7 a.m., and from then on, Lozano said.

More information: thehospitalsofprovidence.com

Vic Kolenc may be reached at 546-6421; vkolenc@elpasotimes.com; @vickolenc on Twitter.

This is one of five inpatient hospital rooms in the new Hospitals of Providence microhospital in Horizon City.

(Photo: VIC KOLENC/EL PASO TIMES)

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