Kansas hospital abruptly closes

Oswego (Kan.) Community Hospital and its two affiliated clinics closed Feb. 14.

The critical access hospital, owned by Kansas City, Mo.-based EmpowerHMS, said in a Facebook post that the abrupt closure was due to "unforeseen circumstances." A statement from the board announcing the closure said the hospital wasn't bringing in enough revenue to cover payroll and other expenses, according to The Garden City Telegram.

Officials said Oswego Community Hospital was facing the same challenges as other rural hospitals across the nation.

"At Oswego, we have weathered low patient volumes; high number of uninsured patients; low reimbursement rates; difficulty in getting payment from private insurance providers; low Medicaid and Medicare rates; and the state's refusal to expand Medicaid," the prepared statement said, according to the report. "The trickle of low revenue stream we have generated has not been enough to cover payroll, let alone to meet all of the other costly expenses needed to operate and maintain a hospital."

Other hospitals owned by EmpowerHMS have reported financial challenges in recent months. Most recently, the company failed to pay staff at Washington County Hospital in Plymouth, N.C., on Feb. 8.

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