Liberal, KS

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MHTC Trustees Reverse Decision and Approve Revenue Loan

Joe Denoyer - January 5, 2024 3:27 pm

Guymon, Oklahoma – In a decisive move to address ongoing financial challenges, the Memorial Hospital
Board of Trustees unanimously reversed their prior decision, voting 3-0 to approve a $1.31 million sales tax revenue loan during a Special Board meeting on Thursday, January 4, 2024. Subsequently, Texas County Commissioners echoed their support with a unanimous approval of the sales tax revenue loan.

The approved loan is a crucial lifeline for the hospital, aiding in covering operational expenses as part of an ongoing cost reduction plan set for full implementation by June 2024. The repayment of this loan will be sourced from the current sales tax proceeds generated by the existing .45% sales tax, which voters endorsed in 2019. This tax was initially designated for debt payment and general operational expenses.

With persistent challenges, including post-COVID low volumes, staffing shortages, high inflation, and
insufficient reimbursement from medical insurance companies, the hospital is facing a critical juncture. Combined with declining patient volumes, aging infrastructure, and years of operating losses, these factors necessitate a special election on January 9, 2024. The purpose of this election is to seek approval for a .55% increase in the dedicated hospital sales tax revenue, resulting in a full one-cent sales tax.

A positive community vote will provide vital long-term funding, ensuring the sustainability of essential healthcare services. The allocated funds will be earmarked for debt repayment, infrastructure repairs, provider recruitment and development of services, and general operations.

Memorial Hospital, a 25-bed critical access hospital serving Texas County and the surrounding Oklahoma
Panhandle Region, remains committed to delivering high-quality emergency, inpatient, imaging, laboratory, and other diagnostic and primary care services to the community.

 

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