True or False

You may have received or come across a “Hospital Fact Sheet” or seen a posting on social media making claims against the new hospital bond. Unfortunately, it is full of inaccuracies, speculations, and misrepresentations. The author(s) are also unwilling to sign their name(s) to this document, so it is impossible to contact them to set the record straight. But we, the Citizens for a New Hospital Now campaign, have created this set of responses so you as a voter, can be informed before you cast your vote on April 25th. Please feel free to reach out to us via our Facebook page (Citizens for a New Hospital Now – Lake Chelan) or email us from our website, www.newhospitalnow.com. We’d be happy to respond to any further questions or clarify any of the information below.

OPPONENTS’ CLAIM:

Now is not the time to burden our citizens with this huge new debt.

FACT:

Now is the time to support a new hospital for our community, because we can’t afford to wait any longer. The current hospital’s infrastructure is on its last legs, it’s bursting at the seams for space, has difficulty recruiting new staff, and the financial outlook looks much worse in the current building vs. a great outlook in a new one. The taxpayers are being asked to support half the expense of the new hospital, with the hospital shouldering its half by borrowing as much money as it can safely afford to do. The cost to the individual family after the bond is passed is roughly similar to the percent of property tax paid to support the library system. What is your family’s health worth to you?

OPPONENTS’ CLAIM:

60% of the hospital’s income comes from federal reimbursements. There is great uncertainty about future federal reimbursements due to the new administration and the repealing of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

FACT:

There is no uncertainty about the Critical Access Hospital program which is the cornerstone of our hospital’s finances and the cornerstone of small community hospitals nationwide. Additionally, our hospital wasn’t a big winner when the ACA was passed. LCCH reported only a 4% increase in Medicaid patients. So any changes to this program will have minimal effect on the hospital’s bottom line.

OPPONENTS’ CLAIM:

There is no financial safety net and no contingency plan if the hospital does not meet its financial projections.

FACT:

The Critical Access Hospital (CAH) program is the hospital’s financial safety net. It guarantees coverage of 101% of expenses for the majority of the hospital’s patients. The hospital will never make excessive profits in this structure and this is by design, but it does create a stable revenue stream. The CAH program offers consistent health care to our community and 49 million other people nationwide.

Additionally, our hospital has a long-tradition of starting innovative programs to supplement the CAH program. In the 1990’s the Sanctuary Drug and Alcohol treatment center was established. And more recently, a host of out-patient departments including physical and occupational therapy have been created or expanded. The hospital’s outpatient revenues jumped by $1,000,000 in 2016 alone