NORTH KANSAS CITY, Mo., March 5, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- According to the American Hospital Association, the number of standalone hospitals in the United States has dropped by nearly 43% since 1990. This is due in large part to lower reimbursement levels, fewer hospital visits, increased capital requirements, and other pressures brought on by the recession and health care reform.
Consider the following:
- One of the largest credit rating agencies has a negative outlook for the U.S. non-profit health care industry.
- Hospitals across the country are realizing the benefits of strategic partnerships, mergers, etc. According to Modern Healthcare Magazine, there were 109 hospital mergers in 2012 alone, the highest in a decade.
- Saint Luke's Health System of Kansas City (non-profit), BJC HealthCare of St. Louis (non-profit), CoxHealth (non-profit) of Springfield, Mo., and Memorial Health System (non-profit) of Springfield, Ill. recently entered into an alliance. Individually, they each had revenues exceeding $1 billion, much greater than North Kansas City Hospital. Yet, they felt they were better served by an alliance, which resulted in a $7 billion venture.
Yet here in North Kansas City, the Board of Trustees that oversees the North Kansas City Hospital seemingly refuses to acknowledge this reality. What is the Hospital's plan to ensure the Hospital remains competitive in the face of increasing consolidation, intensifying cost pressures, lower reimbursements, and shrinking hospital visits? Does the Hospital have a plan to best compete long-term, especially when other standalone hospitals are taking action today?
While the North Kansas City City Council has repeatedly demanded answers to these questions from the Hospital – along with basic operating data and other information – the Hospital's Board of Trustees instead responded with expensive lawsuits, special interest legislation, misinformation and other tactics designed to waste taxpayer dollars, protect their own self-interests and scare our citizens and Hospital employees.