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Margie Schaps quoted in Crain's Chicago article on Northwestern Hospital's talks with Roseland Community

Health & Medicine Policy Research Group (HMPRG)
November 30, 2011

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Northwestern in talks to link up with Roseland Community

By: Micah Maidenberg November 29, 2011

(Crain’s) — Executives with Northwestern Memorial HealthCare in Streeterville and Roseland Community Hospital on the Far South Side have held preliminary talks about a partnership between the institutions, which operate on opposite ends of the health care spectrum.

Northwestern Memorial Chief Operating Officer Dennis Murphy and other executives met several weeks ago with Roseland Chairman Ronald Blackstone Jr. and Roseland’s former chairwoman and incoming CEO, Dian Powell, Mr. Blackstone confirmed.

While a merger was not discussed, the topics included a possible role for Northwestern in the development of a new medical district in the area around Roseland Community and whether the giant teaching hospital could send medical residents to treat patients at Roseland, said Mr. Blackstone, who also is president of RJB Properties Inc., an Orland Park-based facilities management and janitorial company.

Both sides agreed to meet again early next year, he said.

Northwestern, with a strong pool of insured patients, had net patient revenue of $1.59 billion in the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, compared to $64.2 million for Roseland Community for its fiscal year ended March 31, 2010, the most recent year available.

An alliance with Roseland Community could bolster Northwestern’s non-profit image as it seeks to overturn a decision by the Illinois Department of Revenue to deny tax-exempt status to its Prentice Women’s Hospital.

“It’s in their own best interest to provide as much charity care . . . as possible to show they’re doing their part as they go into negotiations with the state,” said Margie Schaps, executive director of the Health and Medicine Policy Research Group, a Chicago-based organization. “You’re better off going into that negotiating room with something to show.”

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