Mercyhealth finally gets hospital in Crystal Lake – Health Care News

on Jun21

20 June 2017 | 8:57 pm

Illinois regulators have approved Mercyhealth’s controversial plan to build a tiny hospital in Crystal Lake, the first facility of its kind in the state.

It was the hospital network’s second pitch to the state in six years to open a hospital in the far northwest suburb.

In a 6 to 1 vote today, the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board approved the 13-bed hospital despite a report from the board’s staff that showed the project could strip business from competing hospitals that already have plenty of patient beds to spare.

The facilities board, which decides the fate of health care projects to prevent duplicating services, has a track record of approving proposals its staff finds don’t meet some state standards. Among Illinois’ requirements, for example, is that hospitals have at least 100 beds.

In a separate vote, the board unanimously approved an outpatient clinic that will be connected to the hospital.

“Because the city of Crystal Lake does not currently have emergency services, our small hospital will include a 24/7 emergency room, offering access for immediate emergency care to those who have limited access to transportation, especially Medicaid, charity care and elderly patients,” Mercyhealth CEO Javon Bea said in a statement.

In a state with a glut of empty hospital beds, Mercyhealth’s so-called $79.5 million micro-hospital would not add beds to the area. Instead, the Rockford-based health system plans to shift 13 beds from its hospital in Harvard to the one in Crystal Lake. In its application to state regulators, Mercyhealth said it was focusing on Medicaid patients and growing baby-boomer population that now leaves the area to find doctors.

The micro-hospital pitch drew fierce opposition from nearby rival facilities that said another hospital wasn’t needed and puts patients at risk if they’re seriously injured and don’t understand that a tiny hospital isn’t equipped to treat them. In those cases, they would be stabilized, then transferred to a larger hospital.



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