Opinion Columns & Blogs

Topeka hospital saved; now help other hospitals

It’s a relief that the University of Kansas Health System and Ardent Health Services are forming a joint venture to operate St. Francis Health in Topeka. The 378-bed hospital had been on the market for more than a year, and the hospital’s parent company announced recently it would close the hospital this summer. That would have been a huge blow to the community and to the hospital’s estimated 1,600 employees. Meanwhile, other hospitals are still struggling because of the state’s failure to expand Medicaid. Wichita hospitals have lost millions of dollars in reimbursements, causing them to reduce staff, and some smaller hospitals are at risk of closing. St. Francis Health was saved; now lawmakers should help other hospitals (including St. Francis) by expanding Medicaid. – Phillip Brownlee