Tri States Public Radio Staff
Fri November 25, 2011
Emphasis - November 25
Keokuk, IA – Jason Parrott's guest is Keokuk Area Hospital CEO Al Zastrow.
They talk about the financial difficulties facing the hospital.
Keokuk Area Hospital is one of seven hospitals in Iowa to be considered a "tweener" facility.
Zastrow says that means the hospital does not receive full reimbursements for the services it provides.
He says a key factor in that is that 75% of the hospital's clients participate in Medicare or Medicaid or are considered indigent.
Zastrow says the hospital cannot continue to operate with a business plan where it receives less money than it costs to serve its clients.
He says the best case scenario for the facility is if it receives "critical access" status.
Zastrow says hospitals with that designation are reimbursed for 101% of the cost of the services provided.
He says KAH has not been able to earn that status on its own, due to its size and proximity to another "critical access" hospital (Carthage, IL).
Zastrow says that is why a public campaign is underway to encourage residents to reach out to state and federal lawmakers.
Sample letters and contact information are now available on Keokuk Area Hospital's website.
Zastrow says the most important thing people need to know is that Keokuk Area Hospital is not in jeopardy of closing in the near future.