Times are hard and they are getting harder with funding cuts forcing Baptist Orange Hospital to stop delivering babies and end obstetrical service effective May 2, according to information Baptist Hospitals of Southeast Texas.

Administrators say about one year ago the hospital was notified DSH Medicaid funding would no longer be available.

For several years now, Baptist Orange Hospital has received Medicaid DSH reimbursement to help offset the costs of providing care to uninsured and Medicaid patients not covered by Medicaid payments. Without state DSH reimbursement, Medicaid obstetrics and related services, such as nursery and post partum, cannot be sustained. To protect and ensure the availability of other non-obstetric inpatient and outpatient services in Orange., our plan is to discontinue the obstetrical service line at Baptist Orange Hospital, according to information from Baptist Hospitals of Southeast Texas.

“Difficult decisions must be made to insure that Baptist Orange Hospital can fulfill the commitment of service and remain a viable community resource well into the future”, stated Jarren Garrett, Chief Administrative Officer. “These efforts will allow Baptist Orange Hospital to restructure resources to provide critical services such as telemedicine for stroke patients, higher level of emergency services and high quality imaging. Partnered with the services available at Baptist Beaumont Hospital, this difficult decision is strengthening the future of Baptist Orange Hospital.”

This is not uncommon as hospitals throughout the State of Texas and across the nation, all face significant challenges with decreased reimbursements and rising underinsured/uninsured populations. Hospitals are implementing strategies to mitigate these negative impacts, and at the same time, are making changes which ensure their community strength for the long term.

Baptist Hospitals of Southeast Texas are not-for-profit, community owned healthcare facilities with spiritual values dedicated to providing high-quality health services and Sacred Work in a Christian environment.

Those seeking OB care at the UTMB clinic in Orange are not affected since their patients are typically referred to UTMB-Galveston.

In 1921 Frances Ann Lutcher dedicated the Frances Ann Lutcher Hospital, the first modern hospital in Orange. It had the most up-to-date equipment of the time and also maintained a nurses’ training program and a home for student nurses. The hospital was particularly needed for the many workmen injured at the surrounding sawmills and in other timber-industry accidents. These men had previously been transported long distances by train for treatment.

Over the years the hospital would change hands several times.

Baptist Hospital of Southeast Texas-Orange bought the county-owned Orange Memorial Hospital.

Since 1957, Baptist Orange Hospital has been providing  health care services to the people of Orange County. Over the years, the hospital has seen many changes. Memorial Hermann which is the largest not-for-profit healthcare system in Texas, was once part of the hospital system in Orange.

A new Emergency Room Department was completed in summer 2005 and added more than 8,500 square feet to the hospital, which enabled Baptist Orange Hospital to more than double the number of patients it sees each year.

Baptist Orange Hospital recently celebrated its 50th anniversary and continues to be the local hospital for Orange.