Suburban Chicago hospital seeks to end inpatient pediatric care

Pending approval from state regulators, Evergreen Park, Ill.-based Little Company of Mary Hospital plans to close its 20-bed inpatient pediatric unit by Nov. 1,  according to The Chicago Tribune.

The hospital attributed its decision to end inpatient pediatric care to a declining demand for the service due in part to an industry shift toward outpatient care and a specialized children's hospital in the same service area. 

"In light of the fact that we have seen decreasing pediatric hospitalizations, coupled with a dedicated children’s hospital within our same service area, we are discontinuing our pediatric inpatient unit," John Hanlon, MD, Little Company of Mary Hospital's president and CEO, told The Tribune.

The hospital also will halt its Care Depot program, which served as a place where hospital employees and community members could drop off their sick children for the day, so they could go to work.

Little Company of Mary still will offer pediatric emergency department services, urgent care and outpatient surgery.

Several Chicago area hospitals have shied away from pediatric inpatient care in recent years amid heightened competition from other specialized children's hospitals. In 2017, Chicago-based Mount Sinai Hospital and Amita Health's Alexian Brothers Medical Center in Elk Grove Village, Ill., shuttered their pediatric inpatient care units.

The closure of the pediatric unit needs approval from the Illinois Health Care Facilities and Review Board.

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