Texas Attorney General Opinion: GA-0552 Page: 1 of 4
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ATTORNEY GENERAL OF TEXAS
June 25, 2007
The Honorable Richard Clark Opinion No. GA-0552
Yoakum County Criminal District Attorney
Post Office Box 359 Re: Whether a county may own or operate a
Plains, Texas 79355 medical clinic in an adjacent county without the
adjacent county's consent (RQ-0560-GA)
Dear Mr. Clark:
You explain that Yoakum County (the "County") created the Yoakum County Hospital under
the statutory predecessor to chapter 263 of the Health and Safety Code "to provide medical services
to the people of' the County.' See TEX. HEALTH & SAFETY CODE ANN. ch. 263 (Vernon 2001 &
Supp. 2006). The hospital, you state, is located in Denver City, "which sits on the [southern] border
of [the County] and neighboring Gaines County."2 Request Letter, supra note 1, at 1. A briefer has
further informed us that while Gaines County has a hospital district, neither the Gaines County
hospital district nor any other governmental health care entity covers "the municipality of Seagraves
in the northern portion of Gaines County."3 You therefore ask whether the County may own or
operate a medical clinic in an adjacent county without the adjacent county's consent. See Request
Letter, supra note 1, at 1, 5. Our answer is limited to the circumstances as you present them.
Section 263.021(a) of the Health and Safety Code allows a county commissioners court to
"establish a county hospital or ... medical or other health facility ... for the care and treatment of
persons who are sick or injured." TEX. HEALTH & SAFETY CODE ANN. 263.021 (a) (Vernon 2001).
The hospital is governed by a board of managers, which "shall generally manage and control the
hospital," including its buildings, its employees, and its patients. Id. 263.046(a); see id.
'Letter from Honorable Richard Clark, Yoakum County Criminal District Attorney, to Nancy S. Fuller, Chair,
Opinion Committee, Office of the Attorney General of Texas, at 1 (Jan. 8, 2007) (on file with the Opinion Committee,
also available at http://www.oag.state.tx.us) [hereinafter Request Letter].
2The hospital's website indicates that it serves "a population area of25,000 from western Texas and eastern New
Mexico." YOAKUM COUNTY HOSPITAL, ABOUT US, available at http://www.ych.us/about.asp (last visited May 29, 2007).
In addition to its hospital facility in Denver City, the hospital comprises a fitness and rehabilitation center, a dialysis
treatment center, two clinics (a rural health clinic and a clinic in Plains), and home health care services. See id.
3Letter from Kevin A. Reed, Davis & Wilkerson, P.C., on behalf of the Texas Organization of Rural &
Community Hospitals, to Nancy S. Fuller, Chair, Opinion Committee, Office of the Attorney General of Texas, at 1 (Feb.
14, 2007) (on file with the Opinion Committee).
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Texas. Attorney-General's Office. Texas Attorney General Opinion: GA-0552, text, June 25, 2007; (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth275448/m1/1/: accessed May 9, 2021), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.