Hospital story will have twists and turns

Stories like the series of stories we are publishing about the Hillsboro Hospital’s financial troubles are never easy or enjoyable to write.

It is never easy to find people to comment or give context to something that has people in the county both frustrated and afraid.

Two paragraphs in and I haven’t even talked about the employees of the hospital which aren’t sure they will see a paycheck regularly or not as this drama unfolds. They are left helpless to either stay at their post and risk not being paid or looking elsewhere to work which is never easy during the holidays, much less if you enjoy your job as we know many do.

None of this is good for our community and little good will come from what has transpired over the last few weeks.

Hillsboro isn’t the only community with a hospital struggling in the state though and many have it worse as Independence and Great Bend have already seen their community hospitals close recently.

Those communities are left reeling after losing their primary resource for health care and are left wondering what could have been done.

Just what everyone wanted for Christmas right? 

There isn’t much to be done at a local level that we know of right now. The hospital is left without a CEO and isn’t full-service right now and we aren’t sure when they will be again, if ever.

We will continue to ask questions and dig to inform those who care. No one locally or at Empower are returning phone calls right now.

The biggest light at the end of the tunnel might be that with Sam Brownback not in office any longer a veto of Medicaid expansion is less likely.

Medicaid expansion would be a big boost to all rural hosptials and could allow them to stay open as they sort out the messes that were created when shady groups came in to “save the day” when funding levels were low.

Hopefully our hospital in Hillsboro is able to keep the lights on, pay their employees, and stave things off long enough for Topeka to finally get it right and expand Medicaid properly.

Until then, we will cross our fingers and do our best to inform people about what is going on. There are no concrete answers right now and there might not be for a while.

– Joey Young, Publisher