7 CEOs back plan to close Illinois hospital

Quorum Health's decision to close MetroSouth Medical Center in Blue Island, Ill., has drawn mixed reviews, according to The Beverly Review.

Quorum announced in June that it filed an application with the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board to close the 314-bed hospital. Members of the review board are scheduled to vote on the application during a meeting on Sept. 17. However, several state legislators are urging the review board to postpone the meeting.

Six state representatives, two state senators and Blue Island's mayor signed a letter requesting the meeting be postponed. They say MetroSouth Medical Center and Quorum "misled" the review board in their application to close the hospital and "have acted to begin closing the hospital" without certification from the state.

Quorum disputes the allegations. In a statement to The Beverly Review, the company said it has not begun shutting down MetroSouth Medical Center and will not begin winding down operations until the application is approved.

There are several letters opposing the closure available on the review board's website, but there is also a letter supporting the plan to shut down MetroSouth Medical Center. The CEOs of seven other Illinois hospitals owned or operated by Quorum backed the plan in an Aug. 27 letter.

"We recognize this is a very difficult situation, but any delay in approving the exemption application would hinder Quorum's ability to meet specific financial obligations within our seven Illinois facilities and put our operations at risk," states the letter from the CEOs.

MetroSouth officials have searched for a new operator for the facility for two years, according to The Beverly Review. Quorum has also tried to secure a new operator for the hospital.

"We had hoped that, in June, after filing our application with the Illinois Health Facilities Review Board, we would receive additional interest from someone willing to commit to take the hospital and its assets on acceptable terms," Quorum said in emailed statement on Aug. 28. "However, that has not been the case. Closing MetroSouth is a difficult decision and certainly not one taken lightly."

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