One month after it filed for bankruptcy and well into a winding-down of its operations, and tge layoff of employees, Mercy Medical, the historic 258 bed hospital, part of Chicago since 1852, may have a chance at resurrection via sale to Insight Chicago, a non-profit affiliated with a biomed technology company.
Mercy is located in a neighborhood known as the Near South Side, south of the Loop and near the city’s Chinatown. Community activists are concerned that the area is a medical-access desert already, and that the closure of Mercy will make it more so.
Insight Chicago says that if it does acquire Mercy (the deal is by no means a sure thing — detailed terms are as yet under negotiation, and Illinois regulators will have to approve), the facility will continue to be operated as a community hospital, with a basic emergency department, acute ICU, medical/surgical, acute mental illness and physical rehab services and non-high-risk obstetrics.
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Whatever may be the specific fate of Mercy, the economics of managing a hospital in the central cities of the US remain formidable. The Health Care Council of Chicago recently reported that by 2024 a dozen hospitals in the south and west of the city could lose among them $1.8 billion.