Hospitals are vital to local economies. Not only do hospitals bring in outside dollars into communities through third-party payers, stimulate local purchasing, and attract business and new residents, hospitals are often the largest employer in a community.
Kearney County Health Services is no exception. They are the largest employer in the city of Minden and the second largest employer in Kearney County, employing 150 people and injecting $31.9 million into the local economy annually.
Recently, the Kearney County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved scheduling a special election for a $10 million bond issue for construction of a new patient wing and renovation of exiting patient rooms.
The special election for the county-wide bond issue will be held March 15.
The new construction is critical for the future of the fifty-seven year old health care facility because the current acute patient rooms do not meet federally mandated federal and state standards of care.
“As far as the mandates go, we have state and federal mandates we have to meet,” explained Fred Meis, KCHS CEO. “The hospital must meet federal mandates to keep our Medicaid and Medicare reimbursements. CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) requires that we have to meet a standard of care requirement for participation in those programs. Our current in-patient rooms are inadequate due to the size, age and configuration of space and do not meet code or current standards for patient care. In addition, the restrooms are too small to accommodate a walker or wheelchair and don’t meet current Americans With Disabilities standards.”
If the federal and state mandates are not met, said Meis, the hospital may lose its Medicare and Medicaid funding which is vital to the hospital’s existence.
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