The Excelsior Springs City Council heard the Excelsior Springs Hospital’s annual report for the fiscal year, 2018 during their Monday, June 17 meeting.
CEO Kristen DeHart presented the report and said although the critical access hospital only holds a license for 24 beds, they do have a variety of other services intended to help with the health needs of Excelsior residents and the surrounding communities.
“We have a lot of specialty services and clinics that we offer in our city,” she said.
She said some of the clinics come on a weekly basis, while others come monthly. Some of the specialty services DeHart said ESH offers include cardiology, emergency medicine, gastroenterology, lab, oncology, orthopedics, a pain clinic, podiatry, pulmonology, radiology, rehabilitation services, rheumatology, Senior Life Solutions, swing bed and surgery.
She said ESH includes five employed physicians with offers out for additional providers. The hospital also operates three primary care offices and the Express Clinic, currently located at Price Chopper.
DeHart said they also added programs to help those who need assistance paying their medical bills.
The hospital recently engaged with CarePayment, an organization that works with patients to provide reasonable payment options for those needing assistance.
DeHart said by year end, 2018, 106 rural hospitals closed due to financial difficulties. That number increased to 112 in 2019. She said over 60% of open rural hospitals operate at a loss.
She said the hospital did operate at a loss over the past several years. Expenses for the current year exceeded revenue by slightly over $2 million. DeHart said this in part helped spur the conversations leading to the closure of the long-term facilities and the relocation of the physicians’ clinic to the ESH campus.
The work to begin relocating the primary care physician offices and Express Clinic to the hospital campus will begin shortly after the Independent Living residents have all moved to their new homes.
At this time, the residential care center will remain vacant, but DeHart said the space will be utilized as new physicians come onboard.