Suffredin- For a Better Cook County  
 

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:  
   
 
 

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

   
 

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

   
  The Chicago Board of Trade and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange trade 60% of the world futures contracts.
   
     
     
     



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

Cook County forest worker was going 76 mph in 30 mph zone, had THC in system during fatal crash while on job: prosecutors
Thursday, July 19, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Judge faces ‘tough day’ in court answering charges he brought loaded gun to work
Thursday, July 19, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Preckwinkle, Evans end budget battle
Wednesday, July 18, 2018
Crain's Chicago Business

How Transparent and Accountable Are Chicago, Cook County Governments?
Wednesday, July 18, 2018
WTTW Chicago Tonight

2 Cook County courthouses to close, employees spared layoffs under budget settlement: officials
Wednesday, July 18, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Troubled detainee at center of unusual court fight between Loyola hospital, Cook County
Monday, July 16, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Cook County Commissioners Confounded by Hiring of Health System Consultant
Monday, July 16, 2018
WBEZ Chicago Public Radio

Doctor fired by Cook County medical examiner now under the microscope in Indiana
Sunday, July 15, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

County officials defend Forest Preserves police in wake of man harassing woman over Puerto Rican flag shirt
Friday, July 13, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Familiar questions about ‘bystander effect’ arise after man berates woman for Puerto Rico shirt
Friday, July 13, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Berrios' analysts used Zillow, other shortcuts in assessing property values, documents show
Friday, July 13, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Northbrook to revisit Cook County paid sick leave policy after opting out last year
Friday, July 13, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Cook County Forest Preserves officials discuss officer's resignation
Friday, July 13, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Amid video fallout, Cook County Forest Preserve District reveals fatal crash involving worker and governmental truck
Friday, July 13, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Transformation in the outdoors
Friday, July 13, 2018
Special to suffredin.org

Forest preserve cop resigns after apparently failing to help woman being harassed over Puerto Rico shirt
Thursday, July 12, 2018
Chicago Tribune

5 things: A civics lesson on Puerto Rico after man rants about woman's flag T-shirt, questions citizenship
Thursday, July 12, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Cook County Commissioners: Get Rid of Forest Preserve Police
Thursday, July 12, 2018
WTTW Chicago Tonight

Schneider wants hearing over fatal crash blamed on Cook forest preserve driver
Thursday, July 12, 2018
Daily Herald

Man who harassed woman for Puerto Rican flag shirt charged with hate crime
Thursday, July 12, 2018
WLS ABC 7 Chicago

all news items

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