Reacting to a consultant's report predicting heavy operating losses unless something is done, University of Illinois at Chicago Medical Center last week shook up its top management.
The university announced it was hiring St. Petersburg, Fla.-based Hunter Group, a national healthcare consulting firm, to run its 430-bed hospital on an interim basis.
The shift means that Chief Executive Officer Sidney Mitchell and Chief Financial Officer Charles Stanislao are being reassigned to unspecified duties, said Mark Rosati, a university spokesman.
UIC Chancellor David Broski brought in the Hunter Group in March to examine the medical center's operations after it posted an $8 million loss in the second quarter of the fiscal year ended June 30. For the year, the medical center is estimated to have lost $10 million, Rosati said.
As recently as 1997, the medical center, with an annual budget of $300 million, posted net income of $6.1 million.
To turn around the medical center's operations, the Hunter Group has recommended developing relationships with other hospitals and health systems in the region, reducing the medical center's 2,600-member work force by 275 positions and improving relations with referring physicians.
The development was just one of several rocking the Chicago-area hospital market in recent weeks:
* Northwestern Memorial Hospital, which recently opened a 492-bed replacement acute-care hospital, announced plans to build a new hospital for women on its Chicago campus. The new specialty hospital is expected to be completed in 2004.
The project's estimated price tag is between $100 million and $150 million. Northwestern's current Prentice Women's Hospital and Maternity Center delivered almost 6,300 babies in 1998, with 6,800 births expected this year.
* Two-hospital Evanston (Ill.) Northwestern Healthcare and 219-bed Highland Park (Ill.) Hospital have signed a letter of intent to merge. The deal, expected to be completed later this year, will create a new system with annual revenues of more than $600 million.
* The board of trustees at 342-bed MacNeal Hospital in suburban Berwyn has approved a plan for the hospital to explore a merger or other strategic alliance. No specific partner had been chosen.