8/26/2012 6:00:00 AM KRMC seeks equalizer from U.S. Hospital eyes funds available for treating uninsured
Suzanne Adams-Ockrassa Miner Staff Reporter
Kingman Regional Medical Center may get a chance at a larger share of a federal government fund that is designed to help cover the cost of care for underinsured or uninsured patients.
More federal Disproportionate Share Hospital funds might be available, Kingman Regional Medical Center Director of Finance Kevin Keener told the Hospital District Governing Board Tuesday. He was contacted by the state on Monday and told that some hospitals may not be taking advantage of the funds this year and that $1.4 million may be available for KRMC.
In order to receive the funds, hospitals have to provide up to one-third of the total grant in matching funds from a government entity, such as the Hospital District.
Hospital District No. 1 of Mohave County is an entity that is able to apply for bonds from the residents in its district. The district covers most of Mohave County except the area north of the Grand Canyon, Bullhead City and Lake Havasu City. The money collected in the bonds is used to purchase equipment for the hospital.
Keener explained that in order to receive the full $1.4 million, the hospital would need at least $467,000.
The hospital had originally asked the board for $130,000 for a $390,000 DSH grant.
However, in order to maximize the amount of grant money the hospital could receive, the hospital was changing its request and asking for $500,000 from the board, KRMC CEO Brian Turney said. Any money left over would be returned to the district.
District Board Chairman Dr. Daniel Wynkoop asked what kind of impact the request would have on the district's finances. Board member Vance Miller stated that the district still had about $3 million left in the bank from the bonds it pulled in 2002. He was concerned that taking $500,000 out of the district's funds might leave them shorthanded.
"It all goes back to the customers and keep the rates as low as we can," Wynkoop said.
The board unanimously approved the $500,000 request.