State approves new owner for Mercy Hospital despite calls for community oversight

A state health board has voted to approve a Michigan biomedical technology firm’s proposal to buy the safety net for $1, preventing the hospital from closing on May 31.

The hospital’s proposed closure during a public health crisis prompted outrage from elected officials and community members, as residents on Chicago’s South Side have long been disproportionately affected by chronic conditions—and, now, COVID-19. But Insight CEO Dr. Jawad Shah says the firm aims to “bring the hospital closer to solvency,” and that it doesn’t intend to discontinue any categories of service.

The Health Facilities & Services Review Board, which determines the fate of health care projects in the state, voted to approve the application. The Illinois Health Facilities Planning Act requires board members to approve such change of ownership proposals if an application has been deemed complete.

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