Looking to the Future, Hospital Exits Long Term Care Business

Atchison Hospital, Atchison Kansas
May 5th, 2005
Contact: Michele Malone 913-367-6616 or mmalone@atchhosp.org

Atchison Hospital CEO John Jacobson announced today that the Atchison Hospital is closing its long term care facility, Cray Manor, effective June 17th 2005.

"We're focusing on the future- our ability to carry out our mission as the county's only acute care hospital, and that means making sure we use our resources wisely to achieve that." Jacobson noted that the long term care unit- which is licensed for 33 beds and has operated at or below 70% occupancy for several years- had a loss of $716,000 last year.

"Long-term care is costly to provide", said Jacobson, who noted that a special study by the accounting firm BKD of Kansas City concluded that the unit would have to be expanded to a 60- 80 beds to be financially viable."

"We take excellent care of our residents, but a small unit simply can't be cost effective in today's market, even with the best management practices. That's why we've decided to focus on our primary hospital mission. We'll continue to work with the other long-term care facilities in the community, as part of the healthcare continuum. I've spoken personally with the senior staff at other area facilities, and we plan to work together to help place residents who want to stay in Atchison."

Currently, Cray Manor has 18 residents, and Jacobson reports the hospital plans to have its social workers help each resident and family make a smooth transition to other facilities. "We are deeply committed to closing Cray Manor with the same level of integrity and compassion with which it has been operated." said Jacobson.

Originally opened in the early 1960's, Cray Manor was the cutting edge vision of the late Cloud Cray Sr., a long time hospital board member who was one of Atchison's finest community leaders and philanthropists. "Cray Manor was ahead of its time when it opened," says current Board Chair William Thornton Jr. "It was the only long-term care facility in the area, and it combined a homelike atmosphere with direct access to the best medical care and support services. Today, we have several other long term care facilities here, and the hospital has good working relationships with each of them. Over the years Cray Manor has served hundreds of residents, and it's a legacy we're very proud of."

Jacobson notes that the space will be used to better meet the current needs of the community, once the long term care facility closes. " Needs change over time, and we're responding to that. We'll be opening a new out patient day clinic for such things as chemotherapy and blood transfusions as well as relocating our Home Health and Hospice program, our social services, and establishing a new Occupational Medicine clinic in the space."



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