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What Is A Hospital Cost These Days?

Armen Hareyan's picture

The Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board today approved the merger of Skokie-based Rush North Shore Medical Center (RNS) with NorthShore University HealthSystem (NorthShore). This was the final regulatory requirement in the Certificate of Need process. The Change of Ownership Exemption Request stated:

"The fair market value of the hospital facility is $53,734,360. ENH (now NorthShore) will provide approximately $54,000,000 to discharge Rush North Shore Medical Center’s indebtedness. In addition ENH (NorthShore) has committed to fund over $100 million in capital improvements at Rush North Shore Medical Center and will contribute $10 million to the Rush North Shore Foundation. The applicants have attested that all beds and services will not substantially change for at least 12 months following the completion of the proposed Exemption Application transaction, and there will be no change resulting in the restriction of patient admissions or reductions in access to care or a more restrictive charity care policy."

But not to be outdone, earlier this week Northwestern Memorial Healthcare (formerly affiliated with NorthShore) agreed on a whopping $400 million dollar purchase of Lake Forest Hospital only 6.2 miles from NorthShore's Highland Park Hospital: The 215-bed Lake Forest Hospital has been viewed as a prime acquisition target amid a string of hospital deals in the northern suburbs.

"The hospital, though profitable, faces big capital-spending needs in coming years, including an eventual overhaul or replacement of its aging facility for more than $400 million. CEO Thomas McAfee has been seeking a partner to help the 108-year-old hospital access capital.

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"The deal would mark a major strategic shift for Northwestern Memorial Healthcare, which operates the Streeterville hospital and affiliated physician groups but does not have much of a suburban presence.

"Northwestern University’s medical school also was expected to seek another training site for medical students and residents after severing ties earlier this year with NorthShore University HealthSystem (formerly Evanston Northwestern Healthcare).

"The statement said that adding Lake Forest to Northwestern Memorial would “accelerate the building of the pre-eminent academic medical center for Chicago, Lake County and the surrounding regions.”

Economic crisis? What economic crisis?

Reported by Dr. Wes.