After serving a rural community in southeast Kansas for nearly a hundred years, the hospital in Independence is closing. While several factors played a part in the decision to close the facility, hospital officials lay much of the blame on the governor and the Kansas Legislature, for failing to expand Medicaid in the state.
Small town hospitals in Kansas are struggling to stay afloat. They have few patients, government programs and insurance companies are cutting back on payments, and many of the working poor have no way to pay for the care they receive. These hospitals may have to fundamentally change the way they function to survive.