Four financially struggling hospitals have agreed to merge in hopes of transforming care for Chicago residents on the South Side. Advocate Trinity Hospital, Mercy Hospital & Medical Center, South Shore Hospital and St. Bernard Hospital plan to create a single system with one leadership team. Crain’s reported late last year that a deal was in the works. The combination aims to bolster the precarious finances of the safety-net hospitals that treat large numbers of low-income patients on Medicaid, which pays less than Medicare and commercial insurance. With an estimated $1.1 billion investment—including private donations and government dollars intended for hospital transformation—the plan is to build at least one new hospital and open up to six new community health centers that would expand access to preventive services and address social determinants of health, such as food insecurity, the four hospital leaders said Thursday.
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