JCHC Board Discusses Rural Health Proposal

JCHC Board Discusses Rural Health Proposal

The Board of Trustees for the Johnson County Healthcare Center discussed a letter received from the Rural Healthcare District that proposes combining ambulance services with the hospital district and the rural healthcare district as a cost-saving measure that might also improve services to city and county residents.

JCHC Board Chairman Dr. Mark Schueler explained the proposal further.

According to discussions, the proposal suggests the JCHC could increase revenue by combining with the hospital to manage ambulance services, which the board believes would be a stretch.

Currently, ambulance services are handled by Johnson County Ambulance Services (JCAS), which is privately owned and operated as part of Harness Funeral Home, with services contracted to the hospital and rural health.

Concerns were raised about the hospital taking on another service that would need to be subsidized by county tax revenue, and having to staff ambulance crews when JCAS is currently providing those services.

The board suggested the best idea might be to have a study done to find the hard data on costs, possible revenue and pros and cons of the proposal.

Schueler advised the board that he would draft a response to the Rural Healthcare District, with the help of CEO Sean McCallister, telling them that they don't feel there is a financial incentive for the hospital to pursue the proposal, and are not interested in adding to the complexity of their operation, but would be willing to cooperate with any study they choose to pursue, as long as the hospital did not have to invest significant time and expense for.


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