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Ark City Hospital Starts Year with Growth

January 5, 2017

Focusing on expanded service lines and improved patient access, the medical center anticipates a significant improvement to their bottom line over the next twelve months. A key component for their plan includes the recent addition of a twelve bed senior health unit.

Arkansas City, KS –  With 2016 in the books, officials at South Central Kansas Medical Center have high hopes for what 2017 will bring for the hospital. Focusing on expanded service lines and improved patient access, the medical center anticipates a significant improvement to their bottom line over the next twelve months. A key component for their plan includes the recent addition of a twelve bed senior health unit.

The SCKMC Board of Trustees approved a plan in November to add the senior health unit to the facility following an in-depth study by hospital consultants, Quorum Health Resources. Estimated to operate at seventy-percent capacity or better, the unit is the driving factor for a roughly $4.5 million budgeted increase in the hospital’s overall gross patient revenue for 2017.  

“(The senior health unit) idea really stemmed from what the Quorum report is telling us, in that certain service lines aren’t necessarily profitable for the hospital. We have to either diversify those service lines or add to them so that they provide more to the hospital financially,” said Holly Harper, SCKMC’s Chief Financial Officer.

Space for the senior health unit was converted within 45 days and a ribbon cutting was held on December 30th. SCKMC’s Chief of Staff, Dr. Perry Lin addressed those in attendance.

“The senior health unit is a state-of-the-art facility specializing in taking care of seniors with mental health care needs that have not been previously met in Cowley County. The well-trained staff includes nurse practitioners, specialty nurses, activity coordinators, and mental health care physicians. The attending staff are fully integrated into the hospital and will provide 24/7 health care for their patients. Medical coverage will also be provided by our existing medical staff round-the-clock to ensure maximum safety during patients' hospitalization,” Dr. Lin said.

Dr. Lin spoke to how the new unit will be beneficial to local patients, but is just one of several projects that the medical center hopes will improve the overall health of the community.

“The senior health unit is the first of this hospital's strategic projects to best meet the health care needs of the Cowley County community in the 21st century. Senior citizens spent their entire lives taking care of us, the younger generations, and now frequently have specialized needs in their golden years. I believe that they deserve the best care we as a community can provide as a measure of our gratitude for everything they have done,” Dr. Lin said.

SCKMC’s Chief Executive Officer agrees that the new unit compliments the medical center’s goals for both quality patient care and financial independence.

“This is a step in the direction to try and use our unused space to provide additional revenue to the hospital. Everybody that I have talked to feels like this is going to be a good addition to the hospital. At the same time, we must continue to be looking down the road for opportunities to help lessen the burden financially for this facility. The challenge is to find revenue streams that will give us some diversification as far as services that tie into our mission and vision of serving the community,” Watson said.

Photo: Staff and guests celebrate the opening of South Central Kansas Medical Center’s senior health unit.