City of North Kansas City Demands Independent Review of North Kansas City Hospital Operations, Financials, Competitive Position

  City of North Kansas City Demands Independent Review of North Kansas City
            Hospital Operations, Financials, Competitive Position

Changing Health Care Industry Requires Hospital to Prepare For the Future;
City Council Questions Hospital Board's Secrecy, Obstruction Tactics

PR Newswire

NORTH KANSAS CITY, Mo., March 5, 2013

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

Consider the following:

  oOne of the largest credit rating agencies has a negative outlook for the
    U.S. non-profit health care industry.
  oHospitals 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.
  oSaint 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

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.

The citizens of North Kansas City need to ask themselves – and the Hospital
Board of Trustees - why won't the Hospital Board work with the City to make
sure we are taking the right steps now to preserve the Hospital's future and
protect our citizens' access to health care?

The City Council of North Kansas City is not willing to leave the Hospital's
future to chance. We therefore call on the Hospital Board of Trustees and
management to immediately:

  oDrop their misguided litigation against the City, which is wasting hard
    earned taxpayer dollars
  oAcknowledge the City's ownership of the Hospital, which is clearly defined
    by Missouri state law
  oAsk Senator Silvey and Representative Swearingen to drop their one-sided
    special interest legislation
  oProvide requested information to the City Council, including basic
    operating information and strategic plans. This information has been
    repeatedly asked for but ignored by the Hospital Board of Trustees
  oHire, in partnership with the City, an independent advisor who can analyze
    the Hospital and its resources and provide an objective analysis about its
    ability to effectively compete and ultimately survive
  oEngage in serious, thoughtful dialogue with the City so that together we
    can ensure the Hospital remains a vibrant part of our community for years
    to come
  oStop allowing the spread of misinformation about the City's intentions

Despite what the Hospital Board of Trustees and management are trying to
suggest through press conferences, robo calls to our citizens, and other
disingenuous tactics, no sale of the hospital is imminent. That being said, we
must act now to thoughtfully, cooperatively, and objectively review the
Hospital under the realities it faces and take whatever action is ultimately
necessary to protect this valuable community asset and ensure our residents
have access to the quality care they've come to know for years to come.

Dan Brady

SOURCE City of North Kansas City
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