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By Modern Healthcare
Posted: July 20, 2013 - 12:01 am ET

JOLIET, Ill.—A Will County judge last week ordered the Illinois health facilities board to explain why it approved Centegra Health System's plan for a new $233 million hospital in Chicago's northwest suburbs even though the panel's staff found that the proposal didn't meet state standards. The judge's ruling gives new hope to competitors that objected to the new hospital. In July 2012, Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board approved a Centegra proposal for a 128-bed hospital in Huntley, an abrupt reversal of an earlier decision to reject the plan. The staff of the facilities board found the proposal did not meet state standards. On July 15, Judge Bobbi Petrungaro sent the case back to the facilities board for an explanation. The nine-member board reviews healthcare projects to prevent duplication of services. By requiring explanations, the courts could upend a common board practice: approving projects questioned by the staff. If the decisions are widely followed, they could increase the staff's influence over the pace of healthcare construction. Petrungaro found the board's approval of the Centegra plan by a 6-3 vote difficult to reconcile with the board staff report.

—Crain's Chicago Business

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