Live Blog: Mercy, Centegra Hearing
Patch is in Joliet covering a hearing before the Illinois Facilities and Services Review Board, which is considering proposals for two McHenry County hospitals.
The Illinois Facilities and Services Review Board is meeting today in Joliet to consider proposals for two McHenry County hospitals: A Centegra hospital in Huntley and Mercy Health System's hospital in Crystal Lake.
Patch is in Joliet covering the hearing. This page will be updated throughout the hearing with photos and the latest on what could be a pivotal move for McHenry County and especially for the communities of Huntley and Crystal Lake. Check back to learn the latest on the hearing.
To get more background on the Mercy and Centegra application for new hospitals, visit this Huntley Patch article.
UPDATE 8:41 p.m.
Harry Leopold had to catch the bus back from Joliet to Sun City Huntley Tuesday evening after a disappointing day as he watched Centegra Health System’s plans for a Huntley hospital rejected by a state review board.
“I was hoping it would pass,” the Huntley trustee said. “Our staff support it, our trustees supported it and the residents of Huntley support it.”
The Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board did not support the plan. Members voted 8-1 to issue an “intent to deny” notice to Centegra. Earlier in the afternoon, the board issued the same decision to Mercy Health System’s proposed Crystal Lake hospital.
UPDATE 4:45 p.m.
The Illinois Facilities and Services Review Board voted down a Centegra proposal Tuesday afternoon for a hospital in Huntley.
The 8-1 vote came after an earlier 8-1 vote against a Mercy proposal for a hospital in Crystal Lake.
UPDATE 4:25 p.m.
Mary Kennedy wanted a state review board to see someone whose life would be affected by their decision Tuesday on a Centegra-Huntley hospital proposal.
“I don’t wear a suit. I come to you to bring you the face of one of the people you would be serving with a Centegra-Huntley hospital,” said Kennedy, a Sun City Huntley resident. “The impact it would have on our community would be phenomenal.”
UPDATE 4:00 p.m.
Huntley Mayor Charles Sass and Trustee Harry Leopold testified in favor of a 128-bed Centegra-Huntley hospital Tuesday afternoon at the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Board hearing in Joliet.
Huntley has continued to grow despite the economy as shown by the 2010 U.S. Census, which showed its population at more than 24,000, Sass said.
And Huntley is continuing to grow, Sass said, citing the number of new residential permits issued to date at 175.
UPDATE 4:00 p.m.
Minutes after Mercy Health System’s proposal was denied, Mercy Vice President Rich Gruber testified against Centegra’s idea of building a Huntley hospital.
A key point in his argument was a Huntley hospital ignored the 160,000 population located in Crystal Lake, Lake in the Hills, Algonquin and Cary, Gruber said. He added the Huntley hospital would serve a community with fewer of 30,000.
UPDATE 3:30 p.m.
A majority of the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board voted against Mercy Health System’s proposal for a Crystal Lake hospital citing there is not a real need for additional hospital beds given area hospitals are not operating a capacity.
After hours of testimony at a hearing in Joliet Tuesday, the board voted 8-1 in opposition to the proposal to establish the 128-bed acute care center on Three Oaks Road in Crystal Lake. The review board is hearing testimony Tuesday afternoon from Centegra on a proposal for a similar hospital in Huntley.
UPDATE 2:45 p.m.
The Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board voted down Mercy's proposal for a new hospital in Crystal Lake.
After hours of testimony at a hearing in Joliet, the board voted 8-1 Tuesday afternoon in opposition to the proposal to establish the 128-bed acute care center in Crystal Lake.
UPDATE 2:30 p.m.
An economics expert Mercy Health System consulted with for its Certificate of Need application says competition is good and can lower health-care costs for consumers, according to testimony Tuesday.
The expert conducted a report showing health care costs would drop by as much as 9 percent in McHenry County if Mercy were allowed to build its Crystal Lake hospital, according to testimony.
Mercy Vice President Rich Gruber said Mercy would help provide competition to Centegra Health System, which has hospitals in McHenry and Woodstock.
UPDATE 2:00 p.m.
The Illinois Health Facilities and Review Board is starting its afternoon session with testimony from Mercy Health System officials.
Board members heard testimony Tuesday morning from supporters who said the Crystal Lake area is underserved and needs a hospital. Mercy wants to build a 128-bed hospital on Three Oaks Road. Mercy officials hope the review board will approve its Certificate of Need application.
UPDATE 1:30 p.m.
Advocate Trinity Hospital is about 60 miles from Crystal Lake, but the South Side Chicago hospital would not be able to provide charitable care if the state grants Mercy Health System permission to build a new hospital, critics said.
Advocate Trinity is part of the Advocate Health System, which operates Good Shepherd hospital in Barrington.
UPDATE 12:00 p.m.
Dan Colby of Harvard was the first speaker Tuesday morning in support of Mercy Health System’s Crystal Lake hospital.
Colby criticized Centegra Health System for ignoring Crystal Lake for years then “bypassing” the area for the “growth and money” of Huntley.
UPDATE 11:30 a.m.
David Carvalho, with the Illinois Department of Public Health, explained Tuesday projections used to determine hospital bed need in McHenry County.
He said the projections were off by 9 percent but the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board can interpret the data in making a decision to grant a Certificate of Need application
UPDATE 10:30 a.m.
Standing in the crowd, Michelle Green described herself as “just a mom” but she felt it was important to travel from her Crystal Lake home to Joliet to support Centegra Health System’s proposed Huntley Hospital.
“I know how important it is for community members to support this,” said Green, who has worked in the hospital field in the past.
She wore a green sticker to support Centegra. Green was among an estimated 250 people who packed a conference room at a Holiday Inn in Joliet on Tuesday morning for the Illinois Public Health Facilities and Services Review Board meeting to hear Centegra’s Certificate of Need application.
UPDATE 10 a.m.
More than 100 people gathered in a conference room at the Holiday Inn Banquet & Conference Center in Joliet on Tuesday morning. Photos of some of those at the meeting are available on the site.
Update submitted by Amie Schaenzer and Gloria Casas
UPDATE 6:00 a.m.
Centegra Health System executive Susan Milford thinks there could be three possible outcomes at today’s Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board meeting.
The review board could approve Centegra’s Certificate of Need application for a 128-bed Huntley hospital. Or it could defer the decision until more information is provided. Or it could indicate its intent to deny the CON, Milford said.
Milford hopes for the first scenario but is prepared for anything. She said an intent to deny does not necessarily mean the issue is dead. Centegra could bring the issue up again at a later meeting.
Mercy Health System hopes its CON gains approval.