Funding to fuel 4-hospital merger in Chicago falls through

Illinois lawmakers didn't approve $500 million in funding for healthcare transformation on May 22, a large chunk of which is needed to support the merger of four safety-net hospitals in Chicago, according to Crain's Chicago Business

The $500 million pool of funding wasn't approved after some elected officials expressed concern about the potential merger of Advocate Trinity Hospital, Mercy Hospital & Medical Center, South Shore Hospital and St. Bernard Hospital, sources told Crain's Chicago Business

"This was an unexpected shift by the Illinois legislature and we are evaluating its impact on our hospitals and the patients we serve," a spokesperson for the four hospitals told Crain's Chicago Business. 

The four hospitals signed a letter of intent in January to combine into a single health system. The hospitals, which lost a combined $76 million last year, were expected to finalize an agreement this summer. 

The hospitals said the merger would cost roughly $1.1 billion over the next eight to 10 years. In addition to the state funding, the hospitals are relying on donations and debt-financing to fund the transaction. 

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