Provident Hospital would need $52M upgrade to link with U of C Med Center
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Crain's Chicago Business
by Mike Colias
(Crain’s) — Cook County’s Provident
Hospital would need as much as $52 million in capital improvements
to expand services under a potential partnership with University
of Chicago Medical Center, according to an outside report released
County health officials this month said they
were exploring a pact that would have U of C doctors treat patients at
172-bed Provident, while the county would continue to own and
manage the South Side facility.
Cook County Health and Hospitals System CEO Bill Foley is considering
options for Provident — everything from closing the hospital to
expanding services there — as part of a broader strategic plan to fix
the troubled health system. Staffing U of C physicians at Provident
would improve the quality of care and the hospital’s spotty reputation.
Provident also could play a major role in U of C’s Urban Health
Initiative, a four-year-old effort to offload routine cases so the Hyde
Park medical center can focus on specialized care.
The price tag to keep Provident as a full-service hospital is between
$38 million and $52 million, according to a report done for the county
and U of C by Philadelphia-based consultancy Health Strategies &
Solutions Inc. That would pay for a new medical office building,
upgrades to its diagnostic imaging equipment and basic infrastructure
repairs to the facility at 500 E. 51st St.
Health Strategies & Solutions' 32-page report here.)
County officials also are considering converting Provident into an
outpatient facility, which would cost $18 million to $27 million.
U of C has “significantly less interest” in seeing Provident become an
outpatient center, the report said. University officials worry that
closing Provident’s beds and converting its emergency room into an
urgent-care center would put more pressure on services at U of C,
according to two people familiar with the planning process.
Boosting patient volumes and bringing in more patients with health
coverage under a U of C partnership could help Provident trim operating
losses by $30 million to $45 million, the report says. The hospital lost
$98 million on operations last year (not including an undisclosed
amount of federal aid the hospital received for treating high numbers of
It’s unclear where capital funding would come from, although U of C
officials have said they likely would contribute. Last year, U of C
lined up $5 million in state capital funding for Provident.
“We understand the county is considering the future of Provident
Hospital, including its possible closure," U of C Medical Center
President Kenneth Sharigian said in a statement. “While recognizing
there are significant issues to deal with and overcome, we continue to
be committed to exploring ways we can help the hospital stay open and
keep serving the community.”