June 3, 2011
Central Health on Friday May 27 purchased the VA Austin Outpatient Clinic, including the 67,577 sq ft building on 6.83 acres and surrounding 3.5 acres of land, for $8 million. The Central Texas Veterans Health Care System presently operates the clinic.
“For us, this prospect came forward at an opportune time, as we were just beginning to see the need for expanded services in Southeastern Travis County. It is a tremendous break for us and we can hardly believe the synergistic nature of the data and opportunity coming together so beautifully in order to serve unmet need,” Central health President & CEO Patricia Young Brown said.
Central Health envisions this location will serve as a primary care and multi-specialty hub for the south and southeast portions of its service area for years to come. A recently completed analysis of data involving the facility’s service area demonstrates an immediate and future need for additional health care services in the southeast region of Travis County.
For example, almost all census tracts within Southeast Travis County, the area where the facility is located, have been designated as Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs) by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. These designated areas have a shortage of primary medical care, dental, or mental health providers. Further, Southeast Travis County residents account for approximately 25 percent of the population served by CommUnityCare, Central Health’s affiliated system of Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC). Annual medical office visits at CommUnityCare and other health centers contracted by Central Health in south and southeast Travis County have increased 60 percent from 2005 to 2010, and future population projections reflect a continued increase in demand.
“We’re always on the lookout for ways to expand and improve the health care for people all across the county, but especially in areas where there’s a real lack of services. This is a perfect opportunity for us to make a real difference in the health of a large and growing section of Travis County,” Board Chairperson Dr. Tom Coopwood said.
The Veterans Administration is constructing a new facility at Highway 183 and Metropolis, which is scheduled to be completed in April of 2013. The current facility will remain open until the newly constructed clinic is available for occupancy. At that time, Central Health will begin a renovation process. CommUnityCare will operate the facility.
Central Health intends to finance the purchase by issuing Certificates of Obligation in the amount of $10 million, $8 million for the purchase and $2 million for renovations. These certificates of obligation will be combined with $6 million for the North Central Health Center for a total issuance of $16 million. The effect on the tax rate will be less than two tenths of a penny. The financing is expected to occur in August.