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Modern Healthcare - - REGIONAL NEWS -

JOLIET, Ill.— A Will County judge last week or­dered the Illi­nois health fa­cil­i­ties board to ex­plain why it ap­proved Cen­te­gra Health Sys­tem’s plan for a new $233 mil­lion hos­pi­tal in Chicago’s north­west sub­urbs even though the panel’s staff found that the pro­posal didn’t meet state stan­dards. The judge’s rul­ing gives new hope to com­peti­tors that ob­jected to the new hos­pi­tal. In July 2012, Illi­nois Health Fa­cil­i­ties and Ser­vices Re­view Board ap­proved a Cen­te­gra pro­posal for a 128-bed hos­pi­tal in Hunt­ley, an abrupt re­ver­sal of an ear­lier de­ci­sion to re­ject the plan. The staff of the fa­cil­i­ties board found the pro­posal did not meet state stan­dards. On July 15, Judge Bobbi Petrun­garo sent the case back to the fa­cil­i­ties board for an ex­pla­na­tion. The nine-mem­ber board re­views health­care projects to pre­vent du­pli­ca­tion of ser­vices. By re­quir­ing ex­pla­na­tions, the courts could up­end a com­mon board prac­tice: ap­prov­ing projects ques­tioned by the staff. If the de­ci­sions are widely fol­lowed, they could in­crease the staff’s in­flu­ence over the pace of health­care con­struc­tion. Petrun­garo found the board’s ap­proval of the Cen­te­gra plan by a 6-3 vote dif­fi­cult to rec­on­cile with the board staff re­port. — Crain’s Chicago Busi­ness

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