Emphasis
10:08 am
Fri April 8, 2011

Emphasis - April 8

Keokuk, IA – Jason Parrott's guest is Keokuk Area Hospital CFO Wally Winkler. They talk about the future of the hospital.

The regional economy is taking a toll on operations at the hospital.

Winkler says there are a lot of rumors out there about the future of Keokuk Area Hospital. He says the goal of the hospital is to provide efficient, quality care to all who needs it.

That is becoming more difficult to do, though, because of inadequate funding.

Winkler says the biggest challenge in that is the population served by Keokuk Area Hospital. He says 75% of patients are on either Medicare or Medicaid or are considered indigent.

Winkler says Medicare and Medicaid do not provide Keokuk Area Hospital with enough of a reimbursement to cover the cost of procedures. He says that is based on a formula where a hospital in one state would receive more than a hospital in Iowa for the same procedure.

Winkler says KAH treats patients and then asks about insurance. He says when a patient does not have the resources to pay their bills, much of that must be absorbed by the hospital.

Winkler says as layoffs continue and plants close in the region, the situation will only get worse.

He says there could soon be a time where rural hospitals have to ask the communities they serve for financial help.

Keokuk Area Hospital approached the Keokuk City Council about the possibility of a tax levy, but nothing was put in place.