Letter: Hospital is asset that must be supported, financed

Editor,

WhidbeyHealth is an extremely valuable resource for island residents that must be preserved and especially nurtured. It is a rural, critical access health system, similar to other critical access systems that are closing around the country.

I reemphasize closing even when those communities never believed it would happen. Medicare and in Washington state, Medicaid, recognize the extreme difficulties such systems have in remaining viable in the face of volume, economic, regulatory and demographic issues.

Compounding these are hurdles in recruitment, motivation and retention of great people at the bedside.

Operating costs accelerate, facilities must be replaced and debt incurred. While in general the hospital services are paid at cost regardless of volume for Medicaid and Medicare, insurers like Kaiser, formerly Group Health, must pay their fair share to cover shortfalls.

While the hospital is addressing physician models, generally payments are less than cost, especially for high quality specialists.

A barrier exists that without adequate volume of patients, specialists might see their skills erode at the same time their partner and family may need support. This results in the need for tax revenue that goes beyond funding needed debt and facility costs.

In planning for the future, I urge that discussion occur with the community about reasonable additional tax support every few years for nurturing operations as well as critical access shortfalls, understanding management is accountable for justifying all dollars spent and appropriate management of insurance contracts and critical access reimbursement.

Quality, safety and service come first. I for one would pay more to help.

Frank Hemeon

Langley

More in Letters to the Editor

Letter: ‘Swing beds’ are wrong way to fix money woes

Editor, A June 14 South Whidbey Record article had a leader of… Continue reading

Letter: Limit fireworks during this dangerous fire season

Editor, Recently Sen. Maria Cantwell presented a map at a Senate Hearing… Continue reading

Letter: Citizens of Ebey’s Reserve have good intentions

Editor, It’s hard to be to be a leader in our world… Continue reading

Letter: Government’s detention centers should be closed

Editor, Why are there so many migrants locked up in detention centers… Continue reading

Letter: Growler roar is too loud, threatens public health

Editor, As a retired professional with 40 years of experience in the… Continue reading

Letter: Sound Defense Alliance is a regional organization

Editor, Recent letters to the editor painted an inaccurate picture of the… Continue reading

Letter: Bottle-raised deer are more likely to be trouble

Editor, I read the rampaging deer article with interest. As a veterinarian… Continue reading

Letter: I’m not that Patricia, we only share a first name

Editor, I would like to inform the community that the Whidbey News… Continue reading

Letter: Garage of Blessings helps many in the community

Editor, Garage of Blessings is a nonprofit organization whose sole purpose is… Continue reading

Most Read