— A proposal by Vista Health System to build a $131 million hospital in Lindenhurst, about 50 miles north of Chicago, would add more beds to an area that already has a substantial surplus, according to a report by the staff of the state healthcare planning board. The plan by Waukegan, Ill.-based Vista to build a 132-bed facility 13 miles west of its existing facilities would increase the oversupply of hospital beds in Lake County, which already has 86 more beds than needed, according to a report by the staff of the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board. The project has already met opposition from rival hospitals and from some religious groups and notfor-profits that say Vista hasn’t adequately invested in its Waukegan hospitals. The board is expected to take up Vista’s plan Feb. 5. Vista, a subsidiary of publicly traded Community Health Systems, plans to soften the impact of the new facility by eliminating 108 beds from Waukegan, where it operates two hospitals. Vista Medical Center East, the acute-care hospital, is licensed for 336 beds, but no more than 200 of those beds are staffed. In a statement, Vista Health System CEO Barbara Martin downplayed the findings in the staff report, saying they “were very similar to staff reports for hospitals that have been approved by the review board.” Vista, which was acquired by Franklin, Tenn.-based Community in 2006, unsuccessfully sought state approval to build a hospital in Lindenhurst five years ago. Now, hospital executives say the need for the new hospital is even stronger.