Financial concern raised as Hillsboro hospital falls behind on utility payments

HILLSBORO, Kan. The hospital in Hillsboro owes the city almost $30,000 in utilities.

The city says the hospital didn't communicate intentions to pay the bills, but the hospital says the city doesn't understand how the hospital gets its money.

The community hospital is three months behind on utility bills and the City of Hillsoboro is looking for its money.

The hospital hasn't paid utilities for October, November or December. Hillsoboro City Administrator Larry Pane says it is behind more than $28,000

"If this continues and we never get paid, that becomes a problem" Pane says.

The hospital's owner, based in Florida, says this is a problem many rural hospitals have late in the year, claiming it serves a population more likely to be uninsured and then has to wait on Medicare reimbursement in January.

The owner says the decision comes down to paying the bills or paying hospital employees.

A few weeks ago, the hospital sent a check for the October bills, but that check bounced," Pane says.

He says the hospital didn't communicate with the city about the bills, and that's why the city is frustrated.

"But if we hear from people, we will work with them, find ways in which they can get payment plans in play," Pane says.

This week, the hospital told Pane it will send money, but the city hasn't seen it yet.

The hospital's owner says those bills will be paid as soon as the hospital is reimbursed by the centers for medicare and medicaid.

Both the hospital and the city agree the hospital's future is not in question and it will remain open.