SSM Health Care, St. Louis, announced plans to sell financially struggling St. Francis Hospital & Health Center in Blue Island, Ill. The 248-bed hospital has lost $40 million over the past five years, including a $10 million loss off net revenue of $170 million in fiscal 2006, ended Dec. 31, 2006, said Colleen Kannaday, St. Francis president.
Illinois regulators rejected in May 2005 SSM Health Cares bid to build a $193 million, 130-bed hospital in Orland Park, Ill., which SSM executives believed would have buoyed St. Francis, said Dixie Platt, senior vice president of mission and external relations for the Catholic-affiliated SSM. Platt said efforts to appeal the decision have stalled. The Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board listed the application as pending an administrative court hearing as of late April.
Now that SSM plans to sell St. Francis, I assume that we will withdraw the 15-hospital systems bid to build in Orland Park, Platt said. The point being that there hasnt been any movement with the planning board at all, Platt said.
SSM has not identified a buyer for St. Francis but officials prefer a Catholic buyer, Platt said. She said the hospital is well-positioned for sale after SSM invested $75 million to renovate and upgrade the hospital over the past seven years. Obviously, we want to expedite this, she said. We are committed to moving this as quickly as possible, she said. -- by Melanie Evans