Hospital district mill levy

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

With March blowing in like a Lion, please take a moment to consider the hot air that will soon fill June. Among the upcoming primaries and debates over the next few months, keep close attention to the items that will affect you and your neighbors directly.

One item that will be on the June 2nd ballot will be a renewal request for your local Hospital District Mill Levy. This item is not an added tax. It will be a renewal of a current Levy and will bring no new costs to your current tax bill. The funds are a necessary cost of operating, maintaining, and saving for our local Hospital.

Operating gaps reveal themselves through our local Hospital’s dependence on individuals utilizing Medicare (the main insurer in our aging community) and Medicaid (primarily utilized for our neighbors’ Long Term Care needs). Simply put, Medicare and Medicaid reimburse Prairie Community Hospital as they see fit, not merely with a blank check. In some respects this is good as there is oversight with taxpayer funds, but it can create short-term cash-flow challenges as the hospital waits for State government approval for compensation. Sometimes a large portion of this reimbursement is disbursed in an annual lump sum - good to catch up the bottom line, but difficult to account for on a month-to-month basis.

Maintenance challenges once plagued our hospital, but with the support of our community, Mill Levy funds have updated our infrastructure into the 21st century. This has allowed us to pass State and Federal licensure surveys, remain compliant with the law for our operation, and, quite simply, keep the doors open for the benefit of our community.

Saving is the final challenge that our hospital has overcome. In order to avoid the high-cost fear of irrelevant equipment and outdated infrastructure, it is necessary to plan for the future, setting aside a portion of any received funds to make positive improvements before they become unaffordable necessities.

To close, thank you for the support of this community. Everyone at Prairie County Hospital District appreciates each and every one of you, and looks forward to continuing to serve in every way we can.

Burt Kellner

CEO, Prairie County Hospital District