Chicago, Los Angeles hospitals slated to close

The owners of hospitals in Chicago and Los Angeles are planning to close the facilities in the first half of this year. 

When workers arrived at Olympia Medical Center in Los Angeles Dec. 31, there was a piece of paper on the door informing them that the hospital was shutting down, according to the Los Angeles Times

"Olympia Medical Center has elected to voluntarily suspend all patient care services, including the emergency department and all emergency medical services, as of 11:59 p.m. on March 31, 2021," the notice said. 

The 204-bed hospital's owner at the time, Irvine, Calif.-based Alecto Healthcare Services, said Olympia Medical Center will begin winding down services this month. About 450 workers will lose their jobs when the hospital closes. 

UCLA Health recently acquired Olympia Medical Center and said it is planning a "major facility renovation." A spokesperson provided no further details about when the facility would reopen or if it would remain a hospital, according to the Times. 

In Chicago, Mercy Hospital & Medical Center is slated to close by the end of May. The decision to close came after a deal fell through in which Mercy would have joined forces with three other hospitals on Chicago's South Side — Advocate Trinity Hospital, South Shore Hospital and St. Bernard Hospital — to create an independent health system. 

The South Side hospital cited monthly operating losses of $4 million as the reason for the closure. The hospital also needs about $100 million in capital investments over five years, according to WBEZ

The hospital's owner, Livonia, Mich.-based Trinity Health, said it tried for 18 months to sell Mercy. Trinity purchased the hospital in 2012 and has since put more than $236 million toward infrastructure improvements and operating needs. 

In December, the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board unanimously rejected a plan for the 292-bed hospital to close. After the review board vote, hospital leadership sent an email to staff saying they "remain committed" to the closure plan, according to Chicago's CBS Local. Mercy said it plans to appear before the state board again early this year. 

Mercy opened nearly 170 years ago and is Chicago's first chartered hospital. 

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