News Column

BRIEF: Gov. Terry Branstad to hold ceremonial signing today

June 20, 2014

By William Smith, The Hawk Eye, Burlington, Iowa

June 20--KEOKUK -- Gov. Terry Branstad will stop by Keokuk Area Hospital this afternoon during a whirlwind tour of Iowa that starts in Fairfield and ends at Iowa State University in Ames.

Branstad will arrive at the hospital at 2:30 p.m. to re-enact the signing of the Iowa Apprenticeship and Job Training Act, which gave the Iowa Finance Authority the ability to loan up to $5 million to Keokuk Area Hospital.

Financial problems arose in 2011 when officials announced the hospital was in danger of imminent closure due to slow reimbursements for an unusually high number of Medicaid patients, including patients from Illinois and Missouri.

Fitch Healthcare, a suburban Chicago-based health care consulting company, was brought in to manage the hospital. The KAH board already has paid off more than $1 million to various creditors. The City of Keokuk and Lee County Board of Supervisors agreed to contribute more than $100,000 each, resulting in about $500,000, to help the hospital along.

Since the bill already was signed last month, today's signing will be purely ceremonial.


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Source: Hawk Eye, The (Burlington, IA)

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