In a poignant sign of the difficult economics of health care after a year of pandemic conditions, Mercy Hospital, a venerable Chicago, Illinois institution, filed for Chapter 11 protection last week.
Mercy Hospital and Medical Center was first established, as a Catholic teaching hospital, in 1852. It is that city’s oldest hospital, with an illustrious history. In 1871, Mercy proved to be felicitously located: it was outside the burn area of the Great Chicago Fire but close enough to be of assistance to many of the victims.
In a statement February 10, 2021, the day of the bankruptcy filing, the hospital administration explained that its mounting financial losses [it has been adding new red ink of roughly $30 million a month] have made it difficult to maintain a safe environment for staff and patients alike.
Mercy Hospital, with its 258 beds, had planned a merger with three other South Side hospitals, but that plan fell through. There is a wind-down plan that will close the hospital at the end of May.
In Pill Form:
The hospital’s statement said: “We recognize the community’s desire that Mercy should stay open, but Mercy has provided as much care as possible while incurring losses that no single entity can afford alone.”