New shots being fired in Fox Valley hospital war
By Linda McDaniel-Hale Point Taken September 7, 2012 2:46PM
Updated: October 10, 2012 6:19AM
Centegra Health System might have won a battle, but it certainly has not won the war.
When the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board changed its mind about granting Centegra permission to build a new, 128-bed hospital in Huntley, Centegra might have thought it was home free.
Unfortunately for it, on Aug. 30, Mercy Health System and Sherman Health filed lawsuits seeking a review of the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board’s July 24 ruling of 6-3 in favor of Centegra.
Advocate Health Care also filed a counter claim in regard to the same ruling. All three hospitals believe that another hospital, a $233 million facility planned for Haligas and Reed Roads in Huntley, would be way too many beds than are needed in and around the Fox Valley. Another hospital would only diminish the quality of care in the area by doubling services and sending patients to a closer hospital that truly is not needed.
There must be an awful lot of money involved for Centegra and its competitors to be fighting for our health care business. What is the motivation? Is it quality-of-life issues, or is it the amount of dollars that can be made while a patient is in a hospital?
In December, the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Boards had had a 4-4 tie vote (with one member absent) against the planned Huntley hospital. What has happened between December and July that would make it necessary for more hospital beds in and around McHenry and the Fox Valley?
There has yet to be an increase in homes being built in this lagging economy. Does the Services Review Board expect that this slow economy will be turning around soon, creating the need for more hospital beds?
A few Courier-News readers have said they feel that my views are based on the fact that I live so close to Sherman Hospital in Elgin. This is not the case. My last hospital stay was at St. Alexius Medical Center in Hoffman Estates. Prior to that, I had surgery at the old Sherman Hospital, on Elgin’s east side. All of my most recent tests have taken place at Provena Saint Joseph’s in Elgin.
The main concern is that another hospital is truly not needed in this area. It has been reported that the new Sherman Hospital is only 60 percent full. If you have been visiting anyone at Provena Saint Joseph, you will find that there definitely is a lack of patients.
Only time will tell who is going to win the hospital war. With Mercy Health System, Sherman Health and Advocate Health Care still willing to fight, Centegra needs to let its architect know that perhaps they have more time to finish up those hospital plans, currently scheduled to open in 2016. Neither side is waving a white flag yet.
Linda McDaniel-Hale is a Sleepy Hollow resident.