CHICAGO-Chicago's public hospital, 811-bed Cook County Hospital, built up $1.3 billion in unpaid patient bills over the past 22 years, most of which officials now want to write off as bad debt. But unpaid bills for $270 million in services rendered since 1993 won't be written off just yet. The write-off won't affect the hospital's operations, its plans for a $550 million replacement facility or property-tax rates, county officials said.
PRINCETON, Ill.-Perry Memorial Hospital in Princeton has become the latest addition to the new northern region of Peoria, Ill.-based OSF Healthcare. The 87-bed hospital affiliated with OSF earlier this month in an agreement that allows the providers to carry out cooperative projects. Recently, 298-bed SwedishAmerican Hospital in Rockford, Ill., laid plans to merge with OSF (April 14, p. 4). If the merger receives regulatory approval, SwedishAmerican will join 210-bed Saint Anthony Medical Center in Rockford and 57-bed Saint Joseph Hospital in Belvidere, Ill., in OSF's northern region. OSF operates seven hospitals in Illinois and Michigan. On the table for Perry are a community health assessment project and a contract making OSF the hospital's reference laboratory, said Bill Spitler, Perry president. The hospital had an operating gain of $1.5 million on revenues of $13 million in 1996, Spitler said.
LINCOLN, Neb.-Veterans hospitals in Grand Island, Neb., and Lincoln will merge operations, the Department of Veterans Affairs announced. The VA proposes moving Grand Island's already-shuttered intensive-care operation to Lincoln, along with the medical unit. A local hospital now provides intensive-care services to Grand Island veterans. The VA said the Grand Island hospital is oriented around outpatient and long-term care, while the Lincoln facility has more extensive inpatient medical, surgical and psychiatric facilities.