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Possible Health Care 'Storm' Cited In Floating Of Hospital Sale


Questions surrounding disputed search for a buyer of North Kansas City's only hospital may be clarified by mid week. 

A meeting is set for later today, called by the hospital's governing board, and the point man for city government sees different complicated issues ahead.

There is no buyer for the city's public and non-profit hospital, according to the City Administrator, although a search agent has been hired.

Hospital Board Chair Mike Montgomery said in a KCUR interview late last week he suspected a buyer was waiting.

Montgomery called  a meeting today with legal staff to learn who owns the hospital, preparing to fight any sale. Administrator Matt Shatto has since said the city has clear ownership.

Shatto agreed with Montgomery the hospital is on firm financial ground and search for a potential buyer goes beyond current status, saying what the City Council wants to make sure is that "the notion of decreasing reimbursements of Medicare and Medicaid, private insurance companies in combination with increased competition in the Northland, as well as with health care reform and the uncertainty associated with that, that now is not the best time to look at other options  to partner this specific entity with a different larger group."

 Shatto said a larger hospital group could provide economies of scale that could help weather what he calls the "potential health care storm that is ahead." 

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