Illinois saves Roseland hospital for now, with emergency $350K - FOX 35 News Orlando

Illinois saves Roseland hospital for now, with emergency $350K

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

The State of Illinois will give Roseland Community Hospital $350,000 in emergency money to save the facility for now, while it develops a "long-term turnaround plan."

The $350,000 will get Far South Side hospital through the June 17 payroll - for the next two weeks. Essentially, it's enough money to properly pay employees for providing care until a long-term solution is put in place.

"We know that the Governor and other officials in his cabinet are aware of how important this institution is to this community," Roseland Community Hospital Vice President Sharon Thurman said.

Roseland Community originally said it was in danger of closing because it was $7 million in debt and that $6 million of that was in delayed payments for procedures it had performed on patients.

"Roseland Community Hospital is an anchor in the community and we will do what we can to protect the patients and employees," Governor Quinn said in a statement. "This temporary relief will allow their doors to remain open and continue to provide critical care services. However, this is not a long-term solution. The hospital must take the necessary steps to develop a plan for a sustainable future."

Hospital employees are happy that the state was able to provide "triage" for the hospital, in the form of this emergency money. They are happy for the chance to go back to the table with the state and figure out a financially responsible way to run the hospital in the future. The assistance buys them more time – they were afraid door would close at 5 p.m. on Wednesday for good.

"I'm just glad that we got something," lead medical assistant Nicole Kreamer said. "I know it's not…it's just a temporary fix, but I am hopeful that tomorrow we will wake up and this hospital is going to be open. The neighbors in this community know this hospital is going to be open."

Governor Quinn made the decision to give the hospital the temporary cash on the condition that independent financial experts review its finances, operations and budget. The state also said Roseland Community needs to choose an independent chief restructuring officer to oversee the implementation of the plan.

"Roseland Community Hospital is in deep debt and its leadership has serious, long-time management issues that must be addressed," the statement added. "The state of Illinois will continue to work with the hospital to identify potential partners and available resources within the law so they can develop a plan for long-term stability."

Gov. Quinn's office said the state's top healthcare advisors have continued to meet with hospital leaders for the past two months, and only received critical information that would determine whether it would give emergency assistance this week.

The state had also advanced all payments to the hospital for the fiscal year – so Illinois did not owe the hospital any money.

"In fact, the State of Illinois issued an advance Critical Hospital Adjustment Payment of $958,240 a few weeks ago," a statement from the hospital said.

The hospital has said it hasn't been able to generate enough cash flow to pay its expenses because it serves a primarily poor population that often doesn't have any health coverage, including Medicaid.

Organizers said the days of charitable service for uninsured patients are over.

"This cocktail of service delivery has to be changed," Rainbow Push Coalition's Bishop Tavis Grant said. "The hospital and the board of directors, I think, we believe along with them have gotten the message."

Community activist groups have rallied for some way to keep the hospital open since word of possible closure surfaced.

Roseland Community Hospital supporters laid out on Wednesday, to show what they feel would happen if their hospital closed. They even marched to the site where a young man was gunned down, just blocks from the hospital.

It is the only major hospital within a four-mile radius, in a dangerous pocket of the City of Chicago. Residents worried that should Roseland close, they would not get to another healthcare facility in time to receive proper treatment.

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