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Mercy Hospital files for bankruptcy

Mercy Hospital and Medical Centers filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Wednesday just months before the historic Bronzeville hospital is expected to shut its doors for good, a spokesperson confirmed.

Mercy Hospital and Medical Centers filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Wednesday just months before the historic Bronzeville hospital is expected to shutter its doors for good, a spokesperson confirmed.
Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

Mercy Hospital and Medical Centers filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Wednesday just months before the historic Bronzeville hospital is expected to shutter its doors for good, a spokesperson confirmed.

Mercy, which is owned by Trinity Health, still plans to cease operations of all its departments — other than basic emergency services — May 31. The controversial hospital closure is on the agenda for the Illinois Health Facilities & Services Review Board meeting on Mar. 16.

In a statement, Mercy, the city’s first hospital, said it was losing staff and experiencing “mounting financial losses” which challenged its ability to maintain a safe environment. The hospital lost more than $30.2 million in the first six months of the fiscal year, averaging about $5 million per month, the statement said. In debt of more than $303.2 million over the last seven fiscal years, the hospital said a minimum capital investment of over $100 million was needed for it to safely carry on its services.

The Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing news comes two weeks after a state review board rejected Trinity Health’s proposal to open an urgent care and diagnostic center on the South Side. The same board unanimously rejected a plan in December to close Mercy.

Last July, Mercy announced it would close its 258-bed medical center in 2021.

Mercy — which was the site of a deadly shooting in November 2018 — was set to merge with three other South Side hospitals, though that plan fell through due to a lack of state funding.

“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,” the statement said. “The system of care for the underserved on Chicago’s South Side is badly broken, and it is the system that must be fixed so patients can access the care they deserve.”