Editorial

How to support Holy Cross

Staci Matlock
editor@taosnews.com
Posted 12/13/19

Holy Cross Medical Center, known more popularly around Taos as Holy Cross Hospital, is asking Taos County to approve a special election regarding voters to approve more funds for the hospital. County commissioners must decide whether to approve the vote at all and whether those additional funds should come through property taxes, sales taxes or a combination of the two.

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Editorial

How to support Holy Cross

Posted

The local hospital is asking local residents for more financial support.

It is sure to stir debate.

Holy Cross Medical Center, known more popularly around Taos as Holy Cross Hospital, is asking Taos County to approve a special election regarding voters to approve more funds for the hospital. County commissioners must decide whether to approve the vote at all and whether those additional funds should come through property taxes, sales taxes or a combination of the two.

Why is more money needed and what has happened to the funds already committed by county residents to the hospital?

This week and in the weeks to come as the commissioners wrestle with the decision, Taos News will dig into those questions. Reporter John Miller this week looks at how mill levy funds derived from property taxes have been used recently by the hospital. Other stories will look at how the medical center has resolved past financial challenges, the need to pay competitive salaries to retain skilled nurses and doctors, and how other rural hospitals in the state have fared.

It is right to ask the hard questions of the hospital's management and the board (who are all local people). But Taoseños must also ask what is it worth to have a hospital here in town and how far are they willing to go to support it.

According to Becker's "Hospital CFO Report," 21 hospitals in the country closed in 2018. Between 2010 and 2018, a total of 85 hospitals in the nation shuttered their doors, some due to a decline in patients and some due to financial problems.

Rural hospitals as a whole face a unique set of problems - a high number of low-income patients who rely on Medicare and Medicaid; a high number of patients with chronic health problems; an increasing number who suffer from addiction; and trouble paying for and retaining health care professionals.

Holy Cross Hospital is a service almost every person in Taos County will need at some point or another.

Go to the medical center's website (holycrossmedicalcenter.org) to see who is on the board and read audit and financial reports and minutes of past meetings. Reach out to the hospital's administration if you have questions and attend upcoming county commission meetings to hear the hospital's presentations and ask questions.

Help elected officials figure out the best way to support Holy Cross Medical Center - an essential part of Taos County services and communities.

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