City of Amarillo Hospital District Finance Committee adjusts language of $11M Northwest Texas fund

The Amarillo Hospital District Finance Committee voted to change some of the language in the district’s Corpus Investment Policy and heard an update on the $11 million fund at its meeting Monday afternoon.

The changes were made to simplify some of the language in the policy and to comply with the Financial Institution Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act. Some of the changes were also required by the anti-BDS (Boycott, Divisions, Sanctions) law Governor Greg Abbott signed into law in May.

The board also discussed their annual pro-forma revenue and expenditures budget for Northwest Texas Hospital which is currently $11 million, using an assumption of a 2 percent interest rate.

“What this projection shows is, through the end of the extended contract, the Corpus dollars through the sale of the hospital will fund those contracts,” said Michelle Bonner, assistant city manager of financial and leisure services.

Bonner said due to the hospital pension plan and other variables the budget will decrease.

“From the beginning of the sale in 1996, the (hospital) district targeted the end of the contract to have that pension plan fully funded,” Bonner said, “and we are on target to fund the pension plan through 2021.”

In 1996, voters approved the sale of Northwest Texas Hospital, taking it from the ownership of the Amarillo Hospital District and privatizing it, selling it to Universal Health Services, Inc. The proceeds of the sale were retained by the AHD and those funds are used to support indigent care.

The contract was going to expire in May 2021, but Northwest Texas Hospital hospital voted to extend it.

“Last year in May, Northwest Texas Hospital extended that contract for 15 years through 2036,” Bonner said. “The original contract had a provision that the hospital had the sole ability to extend the contract.”

The budget projection also included spending $100,000 for the residency program at Texas Tech.

Under the Texas Public Funds Investment Act, which is a state law, the AHD committee is required to meet annually. Bonner said during that meeting the committee discusses and approves the budget.

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