Hospital facing utilities shutdown

The City of Hillsboro is shutting utilities off at the Hillsboro Community Hospital on Friday for an unpaid utility bill of over $28,000.

The city has communicated with the hospital and outlined items to be covered before the shut off occurs. One item was a test of the generator.

“We did have the test this morning, and it was successful. It actually required less energy to run all of the systems of the hospital than we originally thought. It went really well. We did that at the city’s request,” said Jessi Workman, currently the highest administrator at the hospital. “The generator can run indefinitely as long as we keep filling it with gas. All of the systems are a go, and we can maintain a fully functioning hospital.”

Workman went on to say that the City of Hillsboro has been very helpful and the city indicated in a conversation with her earlier this week that they have no intention of causing harm to the hospital.

“We are all doing the best that we can,” Workman said.

As previously reported, the Bank of Hays, which is preparing to foreclose on the hospital, has been in frequent communication with the City of Hillsboro and the hospital since issues with the hospital’s parent company being able to make payroll began.

While the bank needs to sell the property in order to recoup their losses, it is in its best interest to sell to a medical group of some sort ,which keeps losses lower for all involved. The City of Hillsboro also benefits if a medical group takes over.

Health Acquisitions Company is the Kansas City, Mo., company that the City of Hillsboro has been working with regarding utility pay off. One of the defendants listed on the petition is CAH Acquisition, which, according to an Aug. 19, 2018, article in “The Oklahoman,” is part of HMC/CAH Consolidated, a Kansas City, Mo., company that owns multiple hospitals in multiple states.

According to a “St. Louis Record” article on Sept. 3, HMC/CAH Consolidated has been linked to HAC, Empower and Jorge Perez, which are all involved in other lawsuits similar to the one filed in Marion County on Tuesday.

City Administrator Larry Paine is meeting later today with hospital staff to further discuss tomorrow’s utility shutoff. There likely will be more information available after that occurs.

The Free Press will continue to update you as more information becomes available.