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

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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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