Westlake Hospital owner to sell last 2 Chicago area hospitals for $92 million

California-based Pipeline Health has agreed to sell West Suburban Medical Center in Oak Park and Weiss Memorial Hospital in Uptown to Michigan-based Resilience Healthcare.

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Weiss Memorial Hospital

Pipeline Health plans to sell Weiss Memorial Hospital and West Suburban Medical Center.

Brian Rich/Sun-Times file

The California-based health care network embroiled in controversy for its decision to close Westlake Hospital in Melrose Park has announced plans to sell its two remaining Chicago-area hospitals.

Pipeline Health said it has executed a letter of intent to sell West Suburban Medical Center in Oak Park and Weiss Memorial Hospital in Uptown to a Michigan-based company called Resilience Healthcare for $92 million.

“Both parties are interested in a smooth and seamless transition,” said Pipeline CEO Andrei Soran. “All hospital operations will continue as usual with quality, compassionate care delivered to all patients served.”

A change of ownership application still must be approved by the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board before any deal can be finalized.

Pipeline owned the hospitals for just three years.

Resilience Healthcare is led by Manoj Prasad, a health care executive. New Jersey-based businessman Rathnakar Patlola is a financial partner in Resilience.

Prasad said he and Patlola have been looking for the right “opportunity to collaborate.” The pair believe both Weiss Memorial and West Suburban present a good chance to create a sustaining and service-oriented hospital for the community.

“My career turning around hospitals and health care organizations has been based on collaborations with and alignment of the medical staff, nurses, support staff and staff on the front lines at hospitals,” said Prasad in a statement. “I listen to them and to our patients and community partners and they see I am willing to roll up my sleeves and work side by side with them.”

West Suburban has 234 hospital beds and is a safety-net hospital serving at-risk patients. Weiss Memorial is a high Medicaid hospital with 236 hospital beds, according to the state’s review board data.

Pipeline said it has a separate deal to sell a parking lot at Weiss Memorial Hospital, so it will refund $12 million to Resilience Healthcare for reinvestment in the hospital.

Pipeline contends it has made “significant investments” to both facilities since it took ownership totaling $60 million.

In 2019, Pipeline bought Westlake, Weiss Memorial and West Suburban from Tenet Healthcare for $70 million. Almost instantly the health care provider got into hot water after announcing plans to close Westlake despite promising to help improve the safety-net hospital’s services.

The looming closure sparked months of protests and a bitter legal battle between the village of Melrose Park and Pipeline. Several state leaders also got involved.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker ousted two state board appointees after it unanimously approved the closure of the hospital. Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx joined the legal battle to keep the hospital open. Then former employees of Westlake filed a lawsuit against Pipeline alleging the former owners violated U.S. labor laws.

Ultimately the fight was lost as Westlake filed for bankruptcy, saying it was losing nearly $3 million a month, which provided a pathway to closure.

The closure also helped create a new law that would make it easier for hospitals like Westlake to reopen.

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