IHFSRB will vote on Centegra application

A state regulatory board’s vote on cuts to inpatient services at Centegra Hospital-Woodstock will take place this month.

At a meeting Tuesday, Nov. 14, the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board will consider applications from Centegra Health System to eliminate or shift services at its hospitals in Woodstock, McHenry and Huntley. Included in the applications is a request to discontinue 60 medical-surgical beds and 12 intensive care beds at Centegra-Woodstock.

In August, Centegra suspended those services, saying the changes would become permanent pending approval from the IHFSRB, which regulates where hospitals and healthcare services are located within Illinois.

The application to eliminate most inpatient care in Woodstock was decried by local leaders and residents at a public hearing at the Opera House Oct. 3, when dozens of people asked IHFSRB representatives to intervene in order to prevent service cuts at Centegra-Woodstock or to allow another provider to open a hospital in town. The board is effectively guaranteed to approve Centegra’s application to discontinue beds in Woodstock because it does not have the authority to reject it, but city officials have said opposition to the plans could help pave the way for a competing health system to come to Woodstock.

“We encourage the same level of input displayed at the public hearing to persuade the board to support any future applications from other providers to offer these services to the Woodstock community,” City Manager Roscoe Stelford wrote in an email.

Centegra officials have said the plans will streamline health care delivery while stabilizing Centegra’s finances, which they said have taken a hit from bad debt and decreasing reimbursements. The health system reportedly had operating losses of $62.3 million in the last fiscal year.

The IHFSRB meeting will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 14 at Bolingbrook Golf Club, 2001 Rodeo Drive, Bolingbrook.

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