AUDIO: CEO Jeff Bowman Says ‘Rural Emergency Hospital’ Designation Will Keep SCK Health Viable


SCK Health CEO Jeff Bowman told Bob FM Wednesday morning an impending federal designation will keep the hospital alive.

“We are not closing,” he said. “We are looking at a new designation that we have been doing financial modeling on with our auditors, with an organization called Rural Healthcare Redesign Center, and we show that not only will we become profitable, but we will be viable and sustainable in the future under the new model.”

Bowman, who was a guest on “The Morning Mixtape” on 95.9 FM, said the “Rural Emergency Hospital” designation is new.

SCK Health has applied at the federal level, but is waiting on state approval.

The hospital currently operates via a “PPS” payment model and is losing about $250,000 per month. The Prospective Payment System is a method of reimbursement in which Medicare payment is made based on a predetermined, fixed amount.

As a Rural Emergency Hospital, or REH, SCK Health would be paid by Medicare at a higher rate.

While there have been shakeups at the hospital and in the area regarding OB care, Bowman said there have been misconceptions in the community about overnight care if SCK Health becomes an REH.

“A lot of people have misunderstood that patients wouldn’t be able to spend the night, and that’s simply not true,” he said.

The hospital will hold another “Community Conversation” Thursday night in Ark City to talk about the prospects of the new designation and more at Venue 208 on South Summitt. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and the public is invited.