The mill levy to support Hospital District No. 1 in Dickinson County remained at 2 after the Board of Directors for Memorial Health System approved a budget Tuesday.

In a 5-0 vote, the board approved a $43.2 million budget for 2020.

The 2 mills generates $298,145.

Elgin Glanzer, chief financial officer, said the mill levy has remained at 2 for many years.

He said in his first six-month report that the balance sheet shows year-to-date loss of $191,733.

However, he said June showed an $82,000 gain.

“I think it’s reasonable to finish the year in the black,” he reported.

The 2019 budget approved last year had an expected $258,752 profit.

Memorial Health also has 116 days cash on hand.

Harold Courtois, chief executive officer, said 75 percent of hospitals in Kansas operate at a loss. He said 29 critical access hospitals “are in danger” of closing.

Memorial Hospital is a critical access hospital but not among those in danger.

Courtois said the expansion of Medicaid, which is projected to bring $1 million to Dickinson County, $700,000 to Memorial and $300,000 to Herington, was still uncertain.

“My gut reaction is they are still fighting in the Senate,” he said. “We have to look at what’s best for Kansas. They feel it is a cave in to Obamacare (Affordable Care Act).”

Prices

Courtois said the hospital has complied with the Federal mandate to post prices. However, he said a proposed rule to post “negotiated rates” for over 300 services would be difficult because the hospital does not have negotiated rates.

Hospitals that fail to publish the prices could be fined up to $300 a day.

Air ambulance costs

Courtois reported on a Wyoming Department of Health plan that would expand Medicaid coverage to all Wyoming residents for the specific and sole benefit of air ambulance transportation.

“If this works, it will probably spread across the nation like wildfire,” he said. “This takes off that surprise bill that sometimes is $70,000. For a lot of people, that’s bankruptcy.”

Under the proposal, Wyoming Medicaid would develop broad requirements for statewide ambulance service and set clear and transparent cost-sharing for patients on a sliding-fee scale.

He reported that Memorial uses an air ambulance service four to six times a month.

Personnel

Several changes in personnel were made at Memorial Health System.

They include: Haley Jones, Administrative Assistant; Erica Forbes, additional responsibilities of Inpatient/OB Nurse Manager in addition to being the Emergency Department Nurse Manager; Kyle Waits, Physical Therapist; Trevor McKee, Laboratory Manager; Alicia Hoffman, Human Resources Assistant; and Sharon Phillips, Dietitian.

Check in

To make visits to the Abilene Memorial Hospital more private, changes to the registration area are being planned.

Courtois said checking in open.

He said staff has been working with the firm Jones Gillam Renz Architects of Salina in designing a new floor plan.

Contact Tim Horan at editor@abilene-rc.com.

Contact Tim Horan at editor@abilene-rc.com.

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