Trinity’s Chicago Mercy Hospital enters deal to avert closing doors

By | March 5, 2021

Dive Brief:

  • Mercy Hospital & Medical Center, a bankrupt hospital that serves some of Chicago’s poorest residents and is owned by giant Catholic system Trinity, may wind up keeping its doors open after entering a nonbinding agreement to be acquired.
  • Insight, which operates a small surgical hospital and biotechnology venture outside of Detroit, will be filing a change of ownership application with the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board, according to a statement from Mercy.
  • Terms of the deal still need to be hashed out over the coming weeks, the hospital said, but noted Insight intends to operate the hospital as a full service acute care facility. Until a final agreement, Mercy’s plans to end services by May 31 remain in place.

Dive Insight:

Like many other safety net hospitals, Mercy especially has struggled through the COVID-19 pandemic. A recent study of such facilities found revenues declined by nearly 50% along with major drops in admissions as the coronavirus crisis raged.

A merger with three other hospitals in the area fell through last year, and it appeared to be the last act for the hospital. Mercy management planned to close the hospital’s doors until it was ordered to remain open by an Illinois review board last year because of a lack of intensive care unit beds in the region.

Mercy filed for bankruptcy protection last month, citing $ 30.2 million in losses during the prior six months. On May 31, Mercy’s management planned to shut everything down except its emergency room, imaging and some ancillary services while building a new outpatient care center.

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Under the terms of the proposed transaction, an Insight affiliate known as Insight Chicago would operate the hospital. Insight operates Insight Surgical Hospital and a biomedical research center in Warren, Michigan.

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