Connect & Follow Us

Go Back

Good article on patient numbers as an indicator of threat re: possible closures at Oak Forest & Provident Hospitals

Health & Medicine Policy Research Group (HMPRG)
December 7, 2009
Quentin Young, and Margie Schaps are quoted in the following article from The County Line at Chicago Current by Alex Parker, December 7, 2009

Low patient numbers key as threat of hospital closures looms

In 2008, Oak Forest Hospital’s emergency department saw an averageof eight patients a day. Of its 213 beds, only 55 to 60 are in use.

The bed count at Provident Hospital has steadily shrunk to 85, and only 60 are in use.

It’s inefficiencies like these, which can mean high operating costsand hefty budgets, that are key in the debate of whether to close OakForest and Provident.

Health system CEO William Foley is weighing that move following the partial repeal of the sales tax.

The repeal of one-half percent of the county sales tax increasemeans the health system is poised to enter 2011 without an estimated$75 million in county funds. Coupled with the loss of $162 million inoutside federal funds, officials are bracing for the loss of 1,250 morejobs and the potential loss of services.

They’re are unsure what kind of benefits the health system will getfrom Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement, and the system has grappledwith tens of thousands of out-of-county patients, costing it about $50million a year.

The options are grim, but it would take a lot for county leaders to close two of the county’s three hospitals. Read the full article

Hear a podcast  segment on the implications of tax rollback on the County health system on today's 848 on WBEZ