Critical Access Healthcare, LLC, Acquires Golden Plains Community Hospital
History was made on October 4, 2007 when Charlie Slaton, CEO of Critical Access Healthcare, LLC (CAH) announced the company’s acquisition of Golden Plains Community Hospital, a 25-bed critical access hospital in Borger, Texas.
Under the terms of the September 30, 2007 agreement, CAH acquired all of the assets of Golden Plains Community Hospital – except for the existing hospital building – from the Hutchinson County Hospital District. CAH operates the existing facility under a lease agreement with the District until the new hospital is completed during the summer of 2011. The new facility will also be owned by the District and leased by CAH.
Golden Plains Community Hospital had steadily lost market share over much of the last two decades, in large part because of the deterioration of its physical plant. The original hospital was constructed in 1937 and the weighted average of the hospital’s plant is 49 years. Recognizing the community’s need for a new hospital, the District Board considered a number of funding options, including a $25 million bond issue. This proposal was defeated in a September 2004 public referendum. The Board decided to seek a buyer for the hospital who would agree to build a replacement facility.
CAH brought a unique solution to the Board: A Public/Private Collaboration model that is designed to build upon the strengths of both parties. The District, with a deep community commitment, provides tax support to care for indigent patients as well as operate the Borger EMS. CAH provides management, capital resources and reimbursement improvements.
“CAH made the best offer with the most integrity, not just in terms of their willingness to commit in writing to building a new facility, but also in terms of their history and the reputation of their people,” said Jason Vance, then chairman of the Hutchinson County Hospital District Board of Directors. “The other bidders didn’t rise to that level of credibility with the Board. I believe we came up with the optimal solution. I have confidence that with CAH we’ll finally have the medical services this community needs and deserves.”
CAH’s long-term plans for the new facility include recruiting physicians, adding services, maintaining the District’s charity care guidelines and continuing the tradition of District representation on the governing Board. CAH also will focus on improving operations and making the hospital profitable.
“We have created a partnering relationship between CAH and the Hospital District,” said Slaton. “We will work together to give the citizens of Hutchinson County a new, fiscally strong hospital and together we will improve the health of this community. We believe we are creating a sustainable model for rural healthcare in the future.”
Read About the History of Healthcare in Hutchinson County
Recommendation Letter from Jason Vance, Former District Chair & Finance Officer at Phillips Conoco – Borger/Sweeny
“On June 2, 2008, I completed a six year term of service on the Hutchinson County Hospital board of directors. The last three years I served as Chairman of the Board.
“As our board looked for a solution to Hutchinson County’s need to replace Golden Plains Community Hospital, we decided to partner with Critical Access HealthCare, LLC (CAH.) We made the decision to go with CAH based upon a thorough due diligence process. Our other options included a sale to other third parties, revenue bonds, and USDA financing.
“From my perspective we chose CAH for two primary reasons.
“First of all, the integrity that the board saw in Charlie Slaton was everything we wanted in a business partner. Our due diligence confirmed board members’ favorable impressions. Since signing our contract, I can honestly say that my respect for Charlie’s integrity, hospital expertise, and business acumen, has only grown stronger.
“Secondly, if I can be brutally frank, and again, from my perspective, a not-for-profit hospital board may not know “what good looks like” when it comes to hospital performance. But, I can guarantee you that CAH does know “what good looks like.” The board wanted a strong competent management team that believes in measuring quality and making changes as necessary. It is not enough build a new building and hope that they will come. Effective leadership is more important than new bricks and mortar. Our community was very much aligned with this goal.
“The hospital district’s attorney is close to securing the land needed for our new hospital. Once the land is acquired and transferred by sale to CAH, CAH is obligated to break ground within 9 (sic) months. I have every confidence that Charlie Slaton and CAH will fulfill their obligation to the citizens of Hutchinson County.
“With the added benefit of hindsight, I can wholeheartedly say that I would choose to partner again with Charlie Slaton and CAH.
“I’d be glad to speak to you personally regarding Charlie Slaton and CAH. I can be reached during the day at 806-275-2451, and anytime on my cell phone at 806-206-8153. My daytime job is to be the finance manager at the Borger Refinery for ConocoPhillips.”
Golden Plains Community Hospital
From the desk of Sharron Harris
May 6, 2010
Re: Critical Access HealthCare, LLC/ Charlie Slaton, CEO
To Whom It May Concern:
As a former member of the Hutchinson County Hospital District Board of Directors I am pleased to have the opportunity to write a letter of recommendation for Critical Access HealthCare, LLC, and Charlie Slaton. As you read this, please bear in mind that, in my thinking, CAH and Charlie Slaton are synonymous.
Over the past three years I have had the opportunity to work with CAH and Charlie Slaton on every level of their acquisition of Golden Plains Community Hospital in Borger, Texas. The process was long and tedious, but Charlie and his attorneys worked diligently with our attorney to hammer out an APA that met the needs of each entity. Charlie, with the help of our attorney, walked our Board through the entire process, working through every step until each HCHD board member was satisfied that the intent of our agreement was met. Charlie graciously went over each and every issue until we felt comfortable.
Upon signing of our contract Charlie assembled an extraordinary administration team to take over management of the hospital. Improvements in quality of care and customer service were evident immediately. Aesthetic changes were made to improve the general impression of the facility even though the building is very old. We began to hear positive comments throughout the community and things continue to improve. As chairman of the Finance Committee, I have watched our bottom line change from red to black and continue to improve monthly.
As a part of our contract, CAH is to build a new hospital in Hutchinson County. Even though the economy plummeted and financing dried up, Charlie was tenacious in seeking a way to meet the terms of the agreement. Through much hard work and cooperation between CAH and Hutchinson County Hospital District, the financing for the new hospital is in place and construction is to begin shortly.
The most impressive thing about working with CAH and Charlie is openness, honesty and integrity in every aspect of our partnership. From the very beginning Charlie has followed through with everything he said he would do. Even when the circumstances changed dramatically he never slowed down on keeping his end of the bargain.
The Hutchinson County Hospital District Board of Directors made an excellent decision to partner up with CAH and Charlie Slaton. The future of quality healthcare in Hutchinson County is bright.
Hutchinson County Hospital District
Former Director/Finance Committee Chairman