hospitals

It’s been a busy few months for The University of Kansas Health System, formerly known as The University of Kansas Hospital.

Its new $100 million hospital at 107th Street and Nall Avenue in Overland Park opens Monday following two years of construction.

That comes on the heels of its acquisition of the Environmental Protection Agency building in downtown Kansas City, Kansas.

And that came shortly after it purchased St. Francis Health in Topeka as part of a joint venture with Ardent Health Services.

Physicians, researchers and hospitals broadly agree that cesarean sections have become too common. That’s powered efforts to limit them to ever fewer cases.

Still, it can be hard to gauge the track record of most Kansas hospitals. When a national group came asking for numbers that reveal how regularly C-sections are performed, many hospitals in the state didn’t reply.

Jim McLean / Kansas News Service

Nearly two years after Mercy Hospital closed its doors, the southeast Kansas town of Independence is still without a hospital.

But it may have the next best thing: a new state-of-the-art clinic with an emergency room and a small cancer treatment center.

The nearly $8 million Independence Healthcare Center operates as an extension of Labette Health, a regional hospital about 35 miles to the east in Parsons.

“This is a department of the hospital,” said Labette Health head nurse Kathi McKinney, while giving a tour of the center during its dedication Saturday.

Kansas News Service

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback says there's no reason for a financially troubled Topeka hospital to close because a California nonprofit group is interested in taking it over.

Brownback told reporters Wednesday that Prime Healthcare Foundation is a legitimate potential buyer for the 378-bed St. Francis Health hospital in Topeka.

The governor said other options for keeping St. Francis open could emerge. The rival Topeka-area Stormont Vail Health system also has expressed an interest.

Jim McLean / Kansas News Service

The owner of St. Francis Health left no doubt it won’t continue to run the Topeka hospital for more than a few months.

The lingering question is whether anyone else will step in to keep it from closing.

Mike Slubowski, president and CEO of SCL Health, said in a news release Tuesday that he hopes to have a clear answer about the hospital’s future by the first week of May. SCL, formerly known as the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth, is based in Denver.

ChildrensMercy.org

The Wichita Children’s Mercy Hospital will be closed until Monday due to a power outage. 

 

Officials with Children’s Mercy Hospital Kansas City say its Wichita location lost power on Thursday. The hospital shares facilities with Wesley Medical Center on Hillside, which also lost power for a short time after an electrical malfunction caused a small explosion. No one was hurt in the incident.

Bryan Thompson / Heartland Health Monitor

Few people associate hospitals with fine dining--hence the term “hospital food.” But a group of Kansas hospitals is out to change that.

Not only are they working to make the food they serve to patients, staff and visitors better, they’re working to make it healthier. Heartland Health Monitor’s Bryan Thompson traveled to northwest Kansas to visit one of the hospitals involved in the effort.

Bryan Thompson

A lot of the hospitals in rural Kansas are called “Critical Access Hospitals.” It’s an important designation, because Critical Access Hospitals were created by the federal government to maintain access to health care in rural areas. But as Heartland Health Monitor’s Bryan Thompson reports, several factors are making it harder for those hospitals to survive.

Rural Kansas Hospitals Struggle To Stay Afloat

Apr 23, 2015
Bryan Thompson

There are a lot of small, rural hospitals in Kansas. Without them, many residents would have to travel long distances for care. And in many small towns, the hospital is one of the largest employers - making it vital to the local economy. But declining populations, combined with changes in the way hospitals are paid for services, are making it more difficult for many to survive. Heartland Health Monitor's Bryan Thompson has more.

Budget Item Would Assist Kan. Hospitals

Mar 27, 2013

Hospitals in Kansas could lose some federal money if the state doesn't expand Medicaid services under the federal health care law. A lawmaker helping to draft the budget says the state needs to consider assisting those hospitals.

Many hospitals receive payments to help them cover the cost of medical care for the uninsured; they are known as disproportionate shared hospital payments. As the federal health care law continues, the focus will move to funding more Medicaid services, meaning the current disproportionate share funds could be reduced or completely eliminated. 

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