Local hospital asks county for money - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Local hospital asks county for money

Posted:
A nurse carries a kit down the hall at Keokuk Area Hospital. A nurse carries a kit down the hall at Keokuk Area Hospital.
KEOKUK, Ia. (WGEM) -

The Keokuk Area Hospital is asking Lee County for $100,000 to match a yearly state grant. But the Lee County Board of Supervisors isn't quick to hear the proposal.

"If you do the math, it is not feasible," Lee County Supervisor Chair Ron Fedler says, explaining how he says the county can't continue to give money to Keokuk Area Hospital.

Fedler remembers the last time KAH asked for county funds.

"I asked at the meeting, 'Well if you told us last year this is a one-time deal, why are you back here again?" Fedler said.

In the past two years, Fedler says the board has given about $200,000 to KAH. This year, the board has not agreed to hear the hospital's request.

Hospital representatives say that money is crucial for meeting a Rural Health Disproportionate Share Program. The hospital receives $300,000 through that program, but only if they can get the City of Keokuk and the county to kick in $100,000 each.

The hospital says it can't maintain services without the money.

"We would have to trim back, and we would have to find ways to compensate for that," Keokuk Hospital Representative Duane Fitch said.

Keokuk resident David Halterman lives blocks away from the hospital. He says the close care is crucial for area residents.

"It's close, and there are a lot of elderly people hear in Keokuk and they need it," Halterman said. "You know? It's something they need."

But Fedler argues that, with the hospital losing nearly $5,000,000 since 2009, it's not fair to taxpayers.

"If I thought for a minute that $100,000 was going to make a difference between that hospital making it or not making it, I would support it," Fedler said.

Officials at the hospital say they'll keep trying to get on the county supervisors' agenda. They also have a formal proposal planned for the city later this month.

Powered by Frankly