City of North Kansas City Demands Independent Review of North Kansas City Hospital Operations, Financials, Competitive Position
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SOURCE City of North Kansas City
Changing Health Care Industry Requires Hospital to Prepare For the Future; City Council Questions Hospital Board's Secrecy, Obstruction Tactics
NORTH KANSAS CITY, Mo., March 5, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- According to the American Hospital Association, the number of standalone hospitals in the United States has dropped by nearly 43% since 1990. This is due in large part to lower reimbursement levels, fewer hospital visits, increased capital requirements, and other pressures brought on by the recession and health care reform.
Consider the following:
One of the largest credit rating agencies has a negative outlook for the U.S. non-profit health care industry.
Hospitals across the country are realizing the benefits of strategic partnerships, mergers, etc. According to Modern Healthcare Magazine, there were 109 hospital mergers in 2012 alone, the highest in a decade.
Saint Luke's Health System of Kansas City (non-profit), BJC HealthCare of St. Louis (non-profit), CoxHealth (non-profit) of Springfield, Mo., and Memorial Health System (non-profit) of Springfield, Ill. recently entered into an alliance. Individually, they each had revenues exceeding $1 billion, much greater than North Kansas City Hospital. Yet, they felt they were better served by an alliance, which resulted in a $7 billion venture.
Yet here in North Kansas City, the Board of Trustees that oversees the North Kansas City Hospital seemingly refuses to acknowledge this reality. What is the Hospital's plan to ensure the Hospital remains competitive in the face of increasing consolidation, intensifying cost pressures, lower reimbursements, and shrinking hospital visits? Does the Hospital have a plan to best compete long-term, especially when other standalone hospitals are taking action today?
While the North Kansas City City Council has repeatedly demanded answers to these questions from the Hospital – along with basic operating data and other information – the Hospital's Board of Trustees instead responded with expensive lawsuits, special interest legislation, misinformation and other tactics designed to waste taxpayer dollars, protect their own self-interests and scare our citizens and Hospital employees.
The citizens of North Kansas City need to ask themselves – and the Hospital Board of Trustees - why won't the Hospital Board work with the City to make sure we are taking the right steps now to preserve the Hospital's future and protect our citizens' access to health care?
The City Council of North Kansas City is not willing to leave the Hospital's future to chance. We therefore call on the Hospital Board of Trustees and management to immediately:
Drop their misguided litigation against the City, which is wasting hard earned taxpayer dollars
Acknowledge the City's ownership of the Hospital, which is clearly defined by Missouri state law
Ask Senator Silvey and Representative Swearingen to drop their one-sided special interest legislation
Provide requested information to the City Council, including basic operating information and strategic plans. This information has been repeatedly asked for but ignored by the Hospital Board of Trustees
Hire, in partnership with the City, an independent advisor who can analyze the Hospital and its resources and provide an objective analysis about its ability to effectively compete and ultimately survive
Engage in serious, thoughtful dialogue with the City so that together we can ensure the Hospital remains a vibrant part of our community for years to come
Stop allowing the spread of misinformation about the City's intentions
Despite what the Hospital Board of Trustees and management are trying to suggest through press conferences, robo calls to our citizens, and other disingenuous tactics, no sale of the hospital is imminent. That being said, we must act now to thoughtfully, cooperatively, and objectively review the Hospital under the realities it faces and take whatever action is ultimately necessary to protect this valuable community asset and ensure our residents have access to the quality care they've come to know for years to come.
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