Hospitals that serve the elderly and disabled in Dallas are being urged to use their existing facilities more frequently as a way to cut costs.
The issue is particularly important to the city of Dallas, which is grappling with a surging opioid overdose crisis.
The city’s nursing home program, Trinity, which opened last year, is the first large-scale expansion of its kind in the United States.
Hospitals are being asked to set aside rooms at a reduced rate and to use the beds as a nursing home.
Trinity opened with the goal of providing 24 beds per day, which the city says is about 40% more than what it is currently offering.
The state of Texas requires that nursing homes be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, which Trinity was designed to accommodate.
But the new rules could mean that Trinity could have to shut down for extended periods of time if its beds aren’t available within a short period of time.
One of the largest problems facing Trinity is the demand for care.
“When you go to a hospital and you see someone dying of a respiratory condition, you’re not going to come out to take a pulse, you’ll see a person who has a heart attack,” said Dr. William C. Deen, the city’s chief medical officer.
The state of Tennessee recently approved a similar rule that would apply to Trinity.
A spokesperson for the nursing home association said the hospital’s occupancy rate has not declined, but there are fewer beds available because of the rule.
Trinity is one of the biggest beneficiaries of the new regulations.
It’s also a popular destination for nursing homes in the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area, which has seen an explosion in the number of people seeking care after being hospitalized for illnesses that would normally require a longer stay.
In a statement, Trinity spokeswoman Jessica Hargrave said the nursing facility has been “doing all that we can to provide the best care to our residents.”
The association said it is considering the issue of occupancy rate with the city.
“This is not a question of occupancy,” Hargrive said.
“We’ve always been working to keep our occupancy rate below 80%.”
As for the current demand for nursing home beds, the association said that Trinity’s current occupancy rate of about 65% is lower than other hospitals in the area.
It said Trinity will continue to work with the nursing homes to find solutions.
“It’s going to be a challenge to find the optimal combination of beds that are the right size, the right type of bed for the type of person that’s in need, and the right kind of nurse that’s working with them,” said Hargrake.
Some experts say Trinity’s new rules are a bad idea because the hospital could lose money.
Dr. David Dutton, an infectious disease physician at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston, said Trinity’s occupancy rates could rise if it shut down because the city has already allocated more than $1.6 million in grants to the nursing program.
“That’s not a good situation to be in, especially when you’re talking about someone dying,” Dutton said.
Deen said Trinity is a great place to open a nursing house.
“The staff is extremely caring and caring and patient-oriented,” he said.
Trinity, for its part, said that it has no plans to shut its doors and that it will continue offering services to patients.