My name is Shannan Flach, CEO at Kingman Community Hospital in Kingman, Kan. In 2016, we found ourselves in the exact same situation that Hiawatha Hospital is in. We were a private non-profit hospital with no county, district or city financial support. Even after cutting every plausible expense possible, we couldn’t catch a break. With continuous insurance reimbursement decreases, increased bad debt and decreased volumes, the savings was depleted and accounts payable spiraled out of control. Our hospital was in survival mode. We did not think about the future or ways to make our hospital thrive, we spent our days on the phone wrangling vendor calls and negotiating payment arrangements. Without sales tax support, we knew our hospital would not survive.
In March 2017, we were successful in obtaining a 3/4 percent sales tax for the hospital. Here we are two years later and can finally breathe a sigh of relief. With that sales tax support, we have finally been able to pay down our accounts payable to a reasonable level and have started to thrive versus survive. We focus our days now on improving our care and helping our community wellness. We are giving back and improving our community through programs such as group art therapy, athletic training program at our school, dietician classes focusing on healthy eating and community gardens.
According to the final vote, the tax was approved by a wide margin, 1,689 in favor and 613 voters opposed.
We were one of the lucky ones. I would like to encourage the citizens of Brown County to think about a future with no hospital in it because that future may be reality without this sales tax approval.
CEO, Kingman Community Hospital