• Last modified 223 days ago (Oct. 12, 2023)


Herington hospital closes

Staff writer

Herington Hospital closed Monday and will lock its doors by Friday.

Its Hillsboro clinic closed a week earlier. A statement issued at that time said its contract with Medicare had been dissolved.

The Marion County Record left several messages for hospital officials, but officials did not return calls.

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid have not responded to an inquiry about the hospital and clinic’s contracts.

Although administrators are not returning calls, employees and a receptionist said the hospital would be shuttered by Friday.

“We don’t have a specific date when we expect to close, but it will be at the end of the week,” the receptionist said.

Since June, 2022, the hospital had been affiliated with Amberwell Health, based in Atchison.

Administrators there also are not returning phone calls.

Employees were given notice Friday that they would no longer have jobs by this Friday.

Marion resident Pam Maag said she phoned the hospital Monday to ask about getting her records and was told she could bring a thumb drive and her records would be copied to it, but records not copied by Friday will become the property of anyone who buys the building.

She was told that Kansas Department of Health and Environment could take over hospital records if it chose to do so.

“My concern is that whoever buys the building, they get the medical records,” Maag said.

According to WIBW in Topeka, the hospital stopped providing services Monday but the building will remain open through the end of the week for people to retrieve records.

The hospital cited “lengthy financial struggles and consistently low patient volumes,” WIBW said.

A Herington woman posted on social media under the name Kat Sue that the registered agent for the hospital resigned in August.

“We know that based on the Articles of Incorporation filed in April that Amberwell is the sole member of the corporation,” she wrote. “If the LLC is dissolved, all assets after paying debts go to Amberwell. This leads to some confusion, as it was previously stated that Herington Hospital would retain local ownership.

“This is what happens when you have people in charge who are more interested in only positive news and trusting snake oil salesmen. They didn’t know what they were doing. They hired criminals and wanted everyone to trust them. There were so many chances to have things be different and so many knowledgeable people terminated over the years that had our best interests in mind.

“The board needs to be held liable for their decisions, for their lack of providing an accurate picture of finances for years, and ultimately for lying to long-term hospital employees who believed them.”

Herington city manager Thatcher Moddie had little to say.

“Obviously it’s an unfortunate loss for the community,” Moddie said. “I heard the news when everyone else did. It’s my full intention to try to attract other medical services to the community.”

Hillsboro Community Hospital chief executive Mark Rooker said HCH’s clinics were able to provide medical services for patients who formerly went to Herington’s clinic in Hillsboro.

Last modified Oct. 12, 2023