After more than a year of trying to push its application through, South Central Kansas Clinic (SCKC) finally has been awarded federal Rural Health Clinic status.

This was one of the many “to do” items outlined by South Central Kansas Medical Center (SCKMC) that ultimately should help to increase its bottom line.

SKCMC Chief Executive Officer Virgil Watson happily reported at a Board of Trustees meeting July 28 that the status had come through the prior day.

For the last six months, the clinic had been waiting for an audit — the last check mark needed for the status to be awarded. That audit finally occurred this week.

The status will allow SKCMC to use SCKC as a primary recruiting tool, since the status will allow for some assistance in recruiting dollars.

SKCMC Chief Financial Officer Holly Harper said she anticipates the status will make the clinic financially solvent because it now will be reimbursed fully at cost.

Loan from city

The SKCMC Board of Trustees approved a request for a $654,967.50 loan to go before the City Commission for consideration.

“I would like to thank the city,” said trustee Dr. Nick Rogers.

“We haven’t approved the loan yet,” said Kathy Cornwell, finance director for the City of Arkansas City.

SCKMC also owes the city 17 months of special assessment payments on its property. The total currently owed is $304,880.

In addition, the city also has extended three loans to the hospital to help with payments on its bonds. This amount totals to $500,000 — minus $75,000 the hospital has paid back from the first loan.

Additionally, the city just paid $75,000 for the first payment to Quorum Health Resources, the outside consulting firm brought in to evaluate the hospital’s finances and operations following a technical default on the bond payments.

Altogether, the total amount owed to the City by SCKMC is $879,879.50.

If the requested funds are loaned during the commission’s next meeting, this total would rise to more than $1.5 million.

In other business, the Board of Trustees:

  • heard a report from Yazmin Wood, director of the Legacy Foundation.
  • approved the regular meeting minutes from June 23.
  • heard a financial report from Harper.
  • heard a quality performance update from Director of Quality Performance and Risk Management Jane Campbell.
  • heard a report from chief of staff Dr. Perry Lin.
  • heard a report from Chief Operations Officer Clayton Pappan, who will become a part-time employee starting next week as he launches a real estate career.
  • heard a report from Watson.