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Woodstock requests public hearing on proposed Centegra Hospital changes

H. Rick Bamman file photo - hbamman@nwherald.com
Woodstock officials plan to request a public hearing after Centegra filed a request with the state hospital review board to suspended services at its Woodstock Hospital.
H. Rick Bamman file photo - hbamman@nwherald.com Woodstock officials plan to request a public hearing after Centegra filed a request with the state hospital review board to suspended services at its Woodstock Hospital.

WOODSTOCK – The city of Woodstock has requested a public hearing on Centegra’s decision to suspend services at its Woodstock hospital, according to the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board.

Centegra announced in June its plans to shut down many services formerly offered at the Woodstock hospital and move them to either its McHenry or Huntley locations. The changes, which took effect in mid-August, include removing inpatient beds and turning the Woodstock emergency room into a “basic” facility, which means anyone needing to stay overnight or have surgery will be taken to a different location.

The hospital’s behavioral health inpatient program will remain, and outpatient mental health services will be moved from their existing location on South Street to the Woodstock hospital.

Centegra projects the changes to save it $15 million annually. Officials project the health system’s financial losses could reach $40 million by the June 30 end of its fiscal year, according to a May 3 filing with Fitch Ratings. Centegra’s leaders attribute the results in large part to the cost of opening the Huntley hospital and a rise in uncompensated care.

City officials and residents have criticized the plans, some of which still need review and approval from the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board. The public hearing will be a chance for the community to weigh in before review board approval.

A date for the public hearing has not yet been announced. The review board is tentatively scheduled to go over the Centegra changes in November, according to its website.

If the board doesn’t approve the plans, Centegra will have to reverse some of its changes, Centegra officials said.

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