EL PASO, Texas -

     The body overseeing University Medical Center was set to address the budget and tax rate, along with El Paso Children's Hospital today. But the County Hospital District Board ended up not doing much at all. The meeting ended without any action taken towards the children's hospital, and the budget and tax rate discussion tabled until next week.

     The board devoted the entire meeting to the ongoing problems between UMC and El Paso Children's Hospital, talking behind closed doors for about two hours.
     UMC has said that the children's hospital owes it more than $70 million, which was a factor in the layoff of 56 UMC staff members in the weeks past.

     Board Chair William Hanson said he was hopeful that the hospitals could continue to make progress.

     County Judge Veronica Escobar said that in talking with the board members, she learned that they are getting closer to a resolution.

     "What we have is a group of volunteers on both sides who are very committed to El Paso's healthcare and healthcare needs. They are far apart on some issues, but they've gotten very close together as time has progressed."

     The tabled items will be brought up during next week's regular board meeting.