FACT CHECK: Super Pac takes aim at Congressman Roger Marshall’s ownership in private hospital
WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - By now, you’ve seen and heard TV ads about super-PACs spending millions of dollars in the Kansas Senate race.
With one week to go, polls show it’s a pretty close race between front runners Democrat Barbara Bollier and Republican Congressman Roger Marshall.
One of the most recent ads comes from the Democratic Super PAC, “Duty and Country.”
The ad starts with Central Kansas Medical Center: “A non-profit hospital served Barton County for half a century, helping the sick, delivering new life, and bringing love to a community.”
It was built in the 1960, founded by the Dominican Sisters of Peace. At one point, it was owned by Catholic Health Initiatives. CHI is a non-profit based in Denver.
According to its website, it is now the third-largest non-profit health system in the nation. (https://www.catholichealthinitiatives.org/en/who-we-are.html)
The ad continues: “Marshall opened a private for profit hospital with other investors, forcing the non-profit to close.”
Marshall was one of the founding partners of the Great Bend Regional Hospital, which had its grand opening in 2009. Another founding partner said in a Kansas Health Institute article, the physicians built it to meet the patient needs on Great Bend.
Two years later, the decades old Central Kansas Medical Center announced it would close its inpatient beds and provide only outpatient services.
At the time, a medical center official told the KHI the decision to close inpatient beds “was driven by persistent declines in admissions” and the “abundance of inpatient beds in and around Great Bend and Barton County
That included beds from the Great Bend Regional Hospital, which was new at the time.
Central Kansas Medical Center went on to downsize and move buildings.
The ad also claims: “Then Marshall and his wife made a fortune when their private hospital sold for 24 million dollars.”
As for the $24-million Great Bend Regional Hospital sold for, the Marshall campaign says it never saw any of that money.
In a statement to FactFinder 12, the campaign says: “By the time Great Bend Regional Hospital sold to the University of Kansas Health System, Dr. Marshall was no longer even a shareholder. He had sold his shares in the hospital when he was elected to Congress and didn’t see a dime from the sale to KU.”
Marshall’s campaign provided FactFinder 12 with documents showing Marshall sold his shares in March of 2017, shortly after he was sworn into office in January of that year.
KU Health System bought Great Bend Regional more than a year after that, in the summer of 2018.
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