[H. Rick Bamman]
Centegra officials project the changes will save the health system $15 million annually. The hospital system has mounting debt and ended its fiscal year June 30 with $62.3 million in operating losses, according to an unaudited financial statement found on EMMA, a municipal security website.
The losses are $20 million more than officials projected in May. Centegra initially expected losses up to $40 million, according to a filing with Fitch Ratings.
Centegra is McHenry County’s largest employer and officials have yet to announce total job cuts associated with the project. Centegra CEO Michael Eesley estimated 50 to 120 job eliminations in June.
Eesley said Wednesday that times are tough for hospitals across the U.S. and the system considered every viable option before making this decision, which will give a greater benefit to the most people.
"There are 30 communities in McHenry County, and it is not possible to provide inpatient care in every one of them. Our decision helps the people of Woodstock to continue to receive their day-to-day medical care and emergency services right within their community," he said. "Those are the services that are used the most frequently. ... By providing acute inpatient care at our hospitals in McHenry and Huntley, we give the most residents the closest access to inpatient services. Many specialty services will only be available in Woodstock. ... We serve an entire community and must make our decisions based on every patient’s needs."