Three Suburban Chicago Hospitals Ask State to Defer Approval of New Hospitals
Arnstein & Lehr LLP, on behalf of Advocate Good Shepherd, Sherman and St. Alexius, Asks State to Implement Comprehensive Health Plan of Recent Law First
CHICAGO, June 7, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Three Chicago-area hospitals say the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board (IHFSRB) should defer approval of applications to implement new hospitals until the state establishes a Center for Comprehensive Health Planning created by recent legislation.
Legal counsel filed a letter on behalf of Sherman Hospital, Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital and St. Alexius Medical Center today with IHFSRB Chairman Dale Galassie , pointing out that the state has not yet followed the rewrite of the Illinois Health Facilities Planning Act. The General Assembly undertook a substantial rewrite of that Act in 2009 in the wake of two major corruption cases involving a previous planning board.
The IHFSRB will consider applications for new hospital Certificates of Need from three health systems during its June 28 meeting. Applications include two in McHenry County – one from Centegra Health System that would be built in Huntley, Ill., and another from Mercy Health System that would be located in Crystal Lake, Ill.
Sherman, Good Shepherd and St. Alexius, which have opposed the Centegra and Mercy projects, are among several regional medical centers that already serve southeastern McHenry County. The hospitals believe the law calls for a comprehensive state plan that would provide expert, independent analysis to the Review Board to assist in determining whether new hospitals are really needed. The plan would measure, for example, projected population growth and the regional implications of building a new hospital.
When the legislation was approved by the Illinois General Assembly in 2009, legislators said the comprehensive planning function was essential to sound, cost-effective health care planning in Illinois. In fact, the Legislature rewrote the opening "Purpose" section of the Planning Act to state that the Review Board should apply the findings from the Comprehensive Health Plan to the Board's standards and review criterion and that the Review Board should base its decisions on findings from the Plan.
Joe Ourth , a partner at the law firm of Arnstein & Lehr LLP, wrote the letter on behalf of the three hospitals. He said, "The hospitals believe that a comprehensive plan would provide much-needed assistance to the Review Board by analyzing the complex information related to the decision to establish new hospitals. Ultimately, in-depth planning would reduce the unnecessarily higher health care expenses that could result from new hospitals."
New hospital projects are among the most important decisions for the Review Board, Ourth said. In fact, the Board has approved only one new general purpose hospital in the last 30 years that has not been overturned on appeal.
"The decision to approve a new hospital is, and should be, undertaken by the Board only after the Board has available to it the most comprehensive data and professional guidance available," Ourth said.
SOURCE Arnstein & Lehr LLP
Browse our custom packages or build your own to meet your unique communications needs.
Learn about PR Newswire services
Request more information about PR Newswire products and services or call us at (888) 776-0942.