Hospital officials ask city and state for additional money to he - Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Hospital officials ask city and state for additional money to help stay afloat

KEOKUK, Ia. (WGEM) - Keokuk Area Hospital officials are asking the city and county for more money to keep the struggling hospital afloat.

Hospital officials say it has struggled financially because of a lack of Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements.

For the second year in a row, the hospital is asking the county and city for $100,000 each.

Keokuk Third Ward Alderman Ron Payne says he thinks the council has no choice but to vote to give the hospital the money. 

"I looked beyond the fact that it's an employer with employees to benefit the city that way," Payne said. "The hospital goes beyond just that; it provides a  tremendous service to the community and I think we should do anything we can to support it."

Officials say not all aldermen agree with Payne, and the council will take up the issue next week.   

The Lee County Board of Supervisors already voted against giving the hospital the money.

Hospital officials say they are disappointed with the county board's decision.

Here is a full statement from Duane Fitch of Fitch Healthcare who is heading up the turnaround efforts.

“The hospital is very disappointed by the action taken by the Lee County Board of Supervisors. The denial of the hospital’s request for $100,000 translates into an overall reduction in reimbursement to the hospital of approximately $250,000 after considering the federal matching component. As the hospital is consistently under reimbursed by Medicare and Medicaid, the federal government has established special annual programs  to help close these gaps and this matching program is a vital one of those programs. The statements that the several members of the Board of Supervisors expressed that their responsibility was for a single year reflects a major misunderstanding in how Keokuk Area Hospital is funded. The hospital is hopeful to participate in this important federal  program every year that it is available as it brings in much needed additional financial resources to the hospital and to Lee County. This program has an excellent return on investment to Lee County and we hope that the Board of Supervisors will reconsider their position in order to preserve essential healthcare services for over 10,000 residents of the county and to preserve approximately 400 well paid jobs in a county devastated by high unemployment. The hospital has an overall annual economic benefit of over $20 million which is critical to preserve.”

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