A top Texas dental association is calling for the closure of its state’s largest dental facility in an attempt to stem its budget shortfall.
In a letter to the Texas Department of Insurance, the Austin Dental Association says its annual budget of $3,849 million is $3 billion shy of the $4.6 billion needed to close the Austin Memorial Dental Center.
It is the largest hospital-based dental care facility in the state.
The letter was obtained by The Associated Press through a public records request.
The Dental Board of Texas, which manages the hospital, has said it is working to raise money to pay for the facility’s closure.
The association says it needs more money to hire and train staff to operate the dental office.
It has $1.2 billion in debt, according to a 2014 audit.
The Texas Dental Assn.
says it has an emergency reserve of $2.5 billion, which it uses to pay off loans to keep operating the dental center.
The Austin Memorial has closed since 2012, and it is the only Texas hospital in the country that has no emergency room.
It serves about 300,000 people a year.