Suffredin- Changing County Government  
 

Accountability
Forest Preserves
Public Safety
Cook County Budget
Forest Pres. Budget
Property Tax Appeal
Health & Hospitals
Land Bank Authority
Policy Resolutions
Unsung Heroine

 

   
 
   
   
 
   
     
  Office phone numbers:  
   
 
 

The Cook County Code of Ordinances are the current laws of Cook County.

   
 

Search current and proposed Cook County Legislation in Larry's exclusive legislative library.

   
  Last year more people used the County's forest preserves than visited Yellowstone National Park.
   
     
     
     



Outpatient focus core of new Cook Co. health plan
HEALTH SYSTEM OVERHAUL | Proposal would cut inpatient care at Oak Forest, Provident hospitals

Monday, July 12, 2010
Chicago Sun-Times
by Lisa Donovan and Monifa Thomas

Cook County's health system is looking at a dramatic overhaul, shifting away from costly inpatient care at two hospitals in favor of more extensive outpatient services.

While the move is being praised by health experts, a new strategic plan that lays out the overhaul is likely to face strong opposition when it's introduced to the full Cook County Board this week, particularly ahead of November's elections.

Under the five-year plan, Oak Forest Hospital would discontinue all inpatient care and become a regional outpatient center that would provide a wide range of primary care services.

Inpatient services would also be scaled back at Provident Hospital, 500 E. 51st, but the emergency room and a few short-stay beds would stay open. Provident could retain more of its existing services, though, if a partnership is brokered with the University of Chicago Medical Center.

Inpatient care reductions are expected to generate $72 million in savings that would be used to beef up primary and specialty services and compensate community hospitals for treating displaced patients from Provident and Oak Forest.

The hospital system would also spend $202 million on capital improvements, such as rebuilding Fantus Health Center at 621 S. Winchester and building a new outpatient clinic in the northwest suburbs.

More outpatient centers should translate to shorter waits for mammograms, colonoscopies and other routine exams, hospital system CEO William Foley said.

"We feel strongly that we're expanding services, not taking services away," he said. "We're placing our services where our patient population is to make it more accessible."

The plan, the culmination of a year-long $950,000 study with Chicago-based Integrated Clinical Solutions Inc., was unanimously approved last month by the independent Cook County Health and Hospitals System Board. On Tuesday, it is scheduled to be introduced to county commissioners, who will have the final say on whether the plan advances.

Dr. Quentin Young, a longtime health-care reform advocate and former chief medical officer of Stroger Hospital, called the planned reorganization "very forward-looking" and said the emphasis on preventive medicine is the right one.

"Obviously, you want to have a skilled hospital when that need arises, but the real solution to the county's care of the population it serves is properly placed outpatient clinics," Young said.

He added that it's critical for the county hospital system to form solid partnerships with private hospitals that would be able to treat patients who would be displaced from Oak Forest and Provident hospitals.

Dr. Kevin Weiss, a professor at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine who wrote a scathing report on the county health system in 2006, called the plan a "double-win" that will improve the financial health of the hospital system and provide better care to patients.

But Harry Mitchum, who said he once waited in Provident's emergency room for eight or nine hours to see a doctor, wasn't sure what to make of the proposed changes.

"People who live over here, they want to come here to this hospital. They don't want to have to go to the West Side," for an extended hospital stay, Mitchum said, referring to Stroger Hospital.

And while there are other hospitals nearby, Provident is part of the countywide system that everyone knows will see patients who have no money to pay for health care, said Mitchum, who has diabetes and hypertension.

Cook County Commissioner John Daley, a Southwest Side Democrat, said the key to this plan's success is changing some patient attitudes, including seeing a doctor for regular checkups instead of waiting until they're gravely ill to go to the emergency room.

That was the goal of expanding the county's clinic system over the years, Daley said, "but we still have a lot of people who wait to the last minute."

"How do you draw people in so they're not showing up in the emergency rooms? It's something all hospitals are dealing with . . . and, yes, it will be a hurdle here."

Commissioner William Beavers said Provident needs to continue offering obstetric and gynecological services, not cut them as the plan calls for, and Oak Forest needs a true emergency room, not just a walk-in ER. His district is sandwiched between the 113-bed Provident and 115-bed suburban Oak Forest hospitals.

"If these were full-service hospitals, they would pay for themselves," Beavers said.



Recent Headlines

Higher Assessments Hit North Suburban Commercial Property Owners
Thursday, July 11, 2019
Evanston Patch

How did an inmate get a loaded gun into Cook County Jail?
Thursday, July 11, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Check exemptions, file an appeal: What you can do to fight your Cook County property tax bill
Thursday, July 11, 2019
WGN Chicago

’A lack of mental health services has plagued Chicago for decades’: Holy Cross Hospital expanding to fill that void on the Southwest Side
Wednesday, July 10, 2019
Chicago Tribune

How To Appeal Your Cook County Property Tax Assessment
Wednesday, July 10, 2019
CBS Chicago

County Commission Hopes to Increase 2020 Census Participation
Wednesday, July 10, 2019
WTTW News

Cook County Property Tax Bills: Where Does Your Money Go?
Wednesday, July 10, 2019
CBS Chicago

Seniors Receive Inflated Property Tax Bills By Mistake
Tuesday, July 09, 2019
WBBM Radio

Cubs co-owner Todd Ricketts’ property tax appeal under investigation after Tribune finds assessment problem
Tuesday, July 09, 2019
Chicago Tribune

North suburban landlords slapped with big assessment hikes
Monday, July 08, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

Miscalculation leads to increased tax bills in Wheeling Township
Friday, July 05, 2019
Daily Herald

Judge rules state legislators violated Illinois Constitution by voting to freeze their pay
Wednesday, July 03, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Search: Chicago Property Tax Increases and Decreases by Ward
Wednesday, July 03, 2019
WTTW News

Millions in Cook County property tax refunds going to homeowners whose bills show no balance due
Monday, July 01, 2019
ABC 7 Chicago

Why 7,600 property owners in suburban Cook County are getting tax refunds
Monday, July 01, 2019
Daily Herald

$25 million in property tax refunds going to 25,000 owners
Monday, July 01, 2019
Special to suffredin.org

Illinois hiring hundreds to reduce Medicaid backlogs
Monday, July 01, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

County health officials say IG report was ‘simply wrong’ even as commissioners plan hearings on system’s finances
Thursday, June 27, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Cook County sheriff’s office warns of phone scam
Wednesday, June 26, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Homeowners Across Chicago Brace for Higher Property Taxes
Wednesday, June 26, 2019
WTTW News

all news items

Paid for by Larry Suffredin and not at taxpayer expense. A Haymarket Production.
^ TOP