Mercy Hospital sale approved; deal may keep hospital open
Southside Chicago’s Mercy Hospital and Medical Center’s sale to Insight Chicago has been approved by state regulators. The sale may keep the city’s oldest hospital from closing in the coming months.
Trinity Health agreed to sell the hospital to Insight Chicago, which is part of a larger Michigan based non-profit, for $1 earlier this month. Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board voted to approve the sale on Monday, opening the door for Insight to take over the hospital.
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Trinity had been attempting to close the hospital for months, citing the hospitals financial struggles in recent years. In December, their attempt to close the hospital entirely was denied by the state board. In February, Trinity filed the hospital for bankruptcy and set a closure date of May 31.
David Southwell, the chair of Trinity Health’s board, said in the bankruptcy filing in February:
“The quality of care at Mercy is an increasing concern as physicians and other colleagues have left Mercy and operating losses have accelerated to $7 million per month.”
Insight will now be responsible for managing the hospital and the costs associated with it.
Some fear that if the hospital were to close then parts of Chicago’s southside community would no longer have an easily accessible hospital. Not having a local emergency room or maternal ward can lead to negative health outcomes as longer travel times delay urgent care for those in need.
Last week, a group of leaders in Chicago asked for the state of Illinois to purchase to hospital instead of Insight. The office of Gov. J.B. Pritzker replied, saying the state had no legal authority to buy the hospital if Insight’s purchase was approved. They also said the state did not have a capacity necessary to run a hospital of that size.
Mercy was founded in 1852. Over 65,000 patients are treated at their seven facilities every year.