Vanguard Health Systems, Nashville, has agreed to a nonbinding letter of intent to acquire two hospitals in the suburbs of Chicago from Resurrection Health Care, a Roman Catholic system based in Chicago, Vanguard and Resurrection said. The purchase price was not disclosed. The hospitals are 152-bed West Suburban Medical Center, Oak Park, and 181-bed Westlake Hospital, Melrose Park. Resurrection would retain a nursing college on the Oak Park campus.
Vanguard to acquire two hospitals from Resurrection
Under the terms of the letter, Vanguard would agree to continue to operate the hospitals as acute-care facilities, maintain current levels and policies regarding charity care and follow the Catholic Church's ethical and religious directives. Vanguard operates two hospitals in the Chicago area, including 338-bed MacNeal Hospital in Berwyn, near the West Suburban and Westlake hospitals. The deal would give Vanguard 17 hospitals in four states. Resurrection would shrink to six hospitals, all in Illinois.
The deal is perhaps another sign that investor-owned hospital chains will be more aggressive in acquiring hospitals. Vanguard added a chief development officer this summer.
In a joint statement, a labor union and a community group urged Illinois regulators to scrutinize the proposed deal closely. “We are concerned that when a hospital converts to a for-profit business, the problems of access, transparency and accountability grow,” said Bill Barclay of the Oak Park/Austin Health Alliance. The approvals of the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board and the Illinois attorney general would be required to complete the deal, according to a Resurrection spokesman.
Send us a letter
Have an opinion about this story? Click here to submit a Letter to the Editor, and we may publish it in print.