Hospital weighs reduction in public info

The Crawford County Memorial Hospital in Denison is considering a reduction in public information it makes available.

Officials said they were  considering the policy change because of concerns that private hospitals that are competitors are not required to make available comparable information.

The topic was discussed at a board of trustees meeting last month. Hospital officials made the bogus claim that the trustees can decide what information that is provided to the trustees needed to be provided to interested citizens.

The Iowa Freedom of Information Council wrote to hospital CEO Bill Bruce on Feb. 9 and called on administrators and the trustees to abide by the letter of Iowa’s open records law, as well as by the spirit of the law.

FOI Council Executive Director Randy Evans said in the letter that it appears hospital officials are confusing the legal notices they are required to publish in Crawford County’s official newspapers with the requirements of Iowa’s open records law.

Evans also reminded the Denison officials that their hospital has different requirements because it belongs to the people of Crawford County, while St. Anthony Regional Hospital in nearby Carroll belongs to the Franciscan Sisters, an order of Roman Catholic nuns.

The Denison hospital has the power to levy property taxes, whereas St. Anthony does not.

You can read Evans’ entire letter here. CrawfordCoHospital.2016