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Four Chicago hospitals call off merger due to lack of state help, with service cuts predicted

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.

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Chris J. Stewart

Chris currently serves as Chief Executive Officer of Surgio Health as well as Chief Operating Officer at Ortho Spine Partners. Prior to that, he was the assistant vice president and business unit leader of Medical Device Management for HealthTrust Purchasing Group (HPG).

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