From time to time we receive questions or comments about our Harper County Healthcare Project. Our Combined Hospital Board members welcome your comments concerning the collaboration efforts of Anthony Medical Center and Harper Hospital District #5. Both facilities have received tremendous support in the past. We appreciate the countless hours of service given to these organizations and the generous financial donations. We benefit from those who served before us and hope to leave as fine of a legacy our predecessors. We share and plan to address your concerns as the project moves forward.
We encourage you to attend our monthly Combined Board meetings on the last Thursday of each month. There is always a time for public input on the agenda. The dates are announced on the Harper County electronic board at the junction of Hwy 160 and K-2 and on hospital websites (hhd5.com, amcks.org).We encourage you to contact our Project Manager, Jim Chromik, at 863-633-9222, email him at email@example.com, or visit with him at either hospital.
Progress is reported monthly following the Combined Board meeting in the newspapers and on hospital websites. Weekly updates are published in the newspapers under the title, “Together for a Healthy Future.”
At the October 2015 Combined Board meeting, in collaboration with the public, key questions regarding this project were developed. It is our goal to answer all these questions through continued research and data collection.
One of the driving forces of this project is an overdependence on property taxes due to continued reductions in reimbursements through Medicare, Medicaid and commercial insurance. Hospital care has changed dramatically since the hospitals began providing services 55 years ago. The movement to outpatient care has significantly reduced inpatient admissions to the hospital as well as the length of time hospitals can keep a patient. Our goal is to create one efficient and sustainable facility rather than continuing two hospitals with an average census of approximately 2 patients per day. Savings will be recognized when duplication of services and equipment is eliminated. Another significant concern is the debt obligations. Joining the two hospitals creates the opportunity to refinance the debt at a significantly lower interest rate, saving taxpayers approximately $1.25 million in interest over the next 20 years.
Finally, we understand the concern about the cost of a new facility. A once in a lifetime substantial benefactor(s) has prompted the boards to pursue this opportunity in earnest. Healthcare is vital for our county residents and it is our desire to create a sustainable model for the future.