Troubled Kansas hospital closes after facing overdue bills

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HORTON, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas hospital run by an embattled health management company has shut down operations after struggling for months without enough funds to pay its employees or buy medication and food for patients.

The city of Horton’s only medical provider, Horton Community Hospital, closed on Tuesday. Residents will now have to travel 12 miles to Hiawatha for medical care.

The hospital’s chief of staff, Dr. Richard Brown, says the closure didn’t come as a surprise. Hospital staff said they’ve had to negotiate with city officials to keep the lights on at the hospital, which faced mounting, overdue bills.

The hospital was transferred to iHealthcare after being managed by EmpowerHMS, which is associated with other Kansas hospitals that have struggled to pay bills.