Noble Health presents key findings of Hospital feasibility study

Their study is expected to be completed in four to six weeks from now.

BOURBON COUNTY, Kan.–Bourbon County has been looking for ways to bring affordable, quality healthcare to the area. A community hospital could be the answer they’re looking for.

After Mercy Hospital closed in 2018, that building has been home to Ascension via Christi and the Community Health Clinic of Southeast Kansas.

“At the end of the day, this is about the people in bourbon county receiving the best quality and affordable health care that we can provide for them,” said Rob Harrington, Executive Director of Bourbon County Regional Economic Development Inc. 

Now, Noble Health is looking to move in. But first, the county says they want to make sure it’s feasible to support a hospital in the first place.

During, Tuesday’s county commissioner meeting, Tom Boozer from Noble Health presented a summary of key findings from their hospital feasibility study.

Boozer said during his presentation that adding a hospital could impact the county’s economy, but people would need to stay in order for that to happen.

“Of course, with the hospital closed, there’s migration. People have to go somewhere. Before it closed, there was very substantial migration. $11 million each year leaves Bourbon County for care outside this county….it must find a way to build trust in the community and attract people back.”

Drew Solomon, President of Noble Health real estate, said in the meeting that it was recommended for the hospital to move forward as a 501 (c)(3).

“We believe very strongly that creating a tax-exempt entity, a 501 (c)(3)  entity, to potentially house a building and all the other assets would be appropriate, as with a true5 01 (c)(3) that can’t be controlled by a for-profit entity.”

The county’s executive director for economic development explains that it would allow Southeast Kansas hospitals to work together.

“In a 501 (c)(3) model, you’re able to choose who you work with… so who where you send your patients, who you work with, with certain entities. Also we’ll be able to collaborate…with different hospitals,” said Harrington. 

When asked about the concern surrounding Noble Health hospitals closing in Missouri, he said they have no part in that.

“What’s going on in Missouri is happening in Missouri. That’s a completely different hospital system, a completely different issue has nothing to do with what’s going on in Kansas and vice versa.”

KOAM was unable to speak with anyone from Noble Health directly. We also reached out to them after the commissioner meeting and have yet to hear back.

Their study is expected to be completed in four to six weeks from now.