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Trinity Health tried to sell struggling Chicago hospital for 18 months, papers show

New documents filed with regulators show Trinity Health tried for 18 months to sell Mercy Hospital and Medical Center in Chicago or find it a partner, according to WBEZ. There were no takers. The South Side hospital will close between February and May 2021.

Livonia, Mich.-based Trinity purchased Mercy Hospital in 2012 and has invested more than $236 million in infrastructure improvements and short-term operating needs. In a letter filed this week with Illinois health regulators, Mercy disclosed that Trinity had been in contact with more than 20 potential partners for the 292-bed hospital. 

"Ultimately, none expressed an interest in Mercy Hospital," the medical center's attorney Edward Green wrote in the letter, Kristen Schorsch reports for WBEZ. Mercy experiences $4 million monthly operating losses. 

A sale or partnership wasn't the only lifeline Mercy dialed before confirming its 2021 closure July 29. The nearly 170-year-old hospital joined forces in early 2020 with three other South Side hospitals to create an independent health system with a robust outpatient care footprint. The hospitals called off the deal in late May after state funding for the $1.1 billion project fell through.

Mercy has plans to develop an outpatient setting that treats 50,000 patients a year, but community activists have said the loss of an acute care hospital will create a medical desert on the city's South Side and exacerbate healthcare disparities, according to ABC 7 News.

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