Medical City Dallas Hospital
|Medical City Dallas|
|Hospital Corporation of America|
|Location||North Dallas, Texas, United States|
|Hospital type||District General|
|Lists||Hospitals in Texas|
Medical City opened its doors after Dr. Frank Seay cut the ribbon that opened Medical City Dallas Hospital to the residents of the community on October 2, 1974. Developer Trammell Crow and his partners chose to locate the hospital and medical office tower on a 250-acre plot in the Park Central area of Dallas partly because preliminary research showed that as of 1972 when the development was planned, 85 percent of all MDs in Dallas County lived within 15 minutes'driving of the new complex. Estimates of the cost at the announcement of the project on April 6, 1972, were that the complex would cost $20 million ($113 million in 2015 dollars). Surveys as of early 1972 showed that prior to the opening of the hospital, Dallas had six hospital beds per 1000 people, while eight cities of comparable size averaged just over 9.1 beds per 1000 people. The 12-story, 367-bed hospital had 78 physicians on the medical staff and enough staff to care for an 85 percent occupancy rate. In describing the original plan, co-managing partner Robert J. Wright touted the updated 20th-century concept of combining hospital-related facilities on the same site with the hospital itself: "For too long, many doctors have had to practice 20th century medicine in 19th century facilities, with their offices at one location, their hospital at another, lab, X-ray and other vital services at still another, and all at great distances from each other and from their homes." Additional features of the design included separate entrances for patients and for doctors to facilitate doctors' ability to "from their entrance, go directly to ancillary services or make rounds in the hospital, and then proceed to their offices," as well as the location of doctors' offices nearest to the most relevant department for their specialties, such as locating the cardiologists' offices next to the ECG and stress laboratories." A second phase of construction commenced in 1977 with the building of an additional tower called Medical City II, enabling the doubling of the physician-tenant population.
The hospital complex served as home to Dallas' first Health Maintenance Organization (HMO), a set-fee medical program established through a joint HMO venture between the Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program and Prudential Insurance Company of America. The initial facility for the HMO program cost $1 million when it opened in 1979.
In 1982, a 3-alarm fire originating in the linen room caused smoke to travel up a laundry chute and fill the top three floors. Although 70 patients were evacuated, there were no injuries reported and only $50,000 damage done to the facility thanks to the fire being brought under control within approximately 15 minutes.
Funding and ownership
All entities in the facility, including the hospital, physician offices, retail areas and other services are tenants of the Limited Partnership formed at Medical City's inception. The initial construction was to be paid completely from private capital as opposed to public donations or tax monies. This funding source became somewhat controversial in the early 1980s when MCD joined twelve other private hospitals in north Texas requesting to participate in a tax-exempt bond program "to finance the purchase of X-ray equipment, surgical tools and other medical equipment"; administrators in public hospitals in other cities objected to participation by private hospitals "that care for few or no charity patients" and the U.S. Treasury Department opposed use of such programs to finance private ventures, estimating that such programs "cost the government $100 million to $300 million in lost tax revenue annually."
- (Unnamed author.) "Medical City Dallas will be strictly '20th century'," The Dallas Morning News, 30 April 1972, page 14. Retrieved from NewsBank 30 April 2016.
- (Unnamed author.) "Medical City Dallas cost: $20 million," The Dallas Morning News, 7 April 1972, page 10. Retrieved from NewsBank 30 April 2016.
- (Unnamed author.) "Medical City Dallas to open," The Dallas Morning News, 22 September 1974, page 5. Retrieved from NewsBank 30 April 2016.
- (Unnamed author.) "Medical City enters new phase," The Dallas Morning News, 16 April 1977, page 5A. Retrieved from NewsBank 30 April 2016.
- Little, Linda. "First set-fee medical program scheduled for opening," The Dallas Morning News, 2 December 1978, page 1D. Retrieved from NewsBank 30 April 2016.
- (Unnamed author.) "$1 million health facility to open Friday," The Dallas Morning News, 31 May 1979, page 4A. Retrieved from NewsBank 30 April 2016.
- Holowinski, Carol. "Hospital fire forces evacuation of patients - smoke from linen-closet blaze fills hallways of top three floors," The Dallas Morning News, 31 August 1982, page 11A.
- Schulte, Joann. "13 private hospitals seek tax-exempt bonds," The Dallas Morning News, 25 April 1983, pages 8A and 18A.
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