May 27, 2020 / Jeff Lagasse, Associate Editor
In September 2019, four Chicago-based hospitals — Advocate Trinity Hospital, Mercy Hospital and Medical Center, South Shore Hospital and St. Bernard Hospital — began pursuing a merger the entities said would transform healthcare delivery for vulnerable residents. This week, that merger was called off, with the hospitals citing a lack of funding from the Illinois General Assembly.
Executives at the four hospitals formally announced the merger plans in January and pledged to replace aging facilities with a new hospital and community health centers along with expanded services — an effort that would have cost an estimated $1.1 billion. Collectively, the four hospitals lost about $76 billion in 2019.
The planned merger was contingent on $520 million in state funding over the next five years, which was meant to ameliorate expected losses as the hospitals established a new healthcare system. Recently, the Illinois General Assembly wrapped up a shortened session without committing the money. The merger was called off on Tuesday.