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Roseland Hospital warns it might not accept patients without state funds

Updated: July 5, 2013 2:23PM

Roseland Community Hospital warned that it will stop accepting patients on Wednesday, if it doesn’t receive enough money to stay open.

Roseland is $7 million in debt. Hospital executives say the state owes them $6 million of that in delayed payments for procedures Roseland had performed on patients.

“It is shameful that the State of Illinois cannot provide funding for its poor sick citizens,” Dian Powell, president and CEO of Roseland Community Hospital said. “The closing of this hospital will be devastating.”

The hospital had already laid off 68 people, such as lab technicians and emergency room nurses, to stay afloat.

The Rev. Jesse Jackson had led a group of community leaders requesting that the state provide an infusion of $7 million to keep Roseland Community Hospital running without dramatic cuts to patient care.

But a spokeswoman for Gov. Quinn strongly disagreed that the state of Illinois owed Roseland $6 million.

“That is false. In fact, the State of Illinois has advanced all payments to Roseland for this fiscal year,” Quinn spokeswoman Brooke Anderson said.

U.S. Rep. Robin Kelly (D-Ill), who wants Roseland to stay open, added, “Roseland’s current business model is not financially viable and therefore an infusion of money without structural changes would only temporarily stave off closure. An independent assessment of Roseland’s operations is necessary to determine the appropriate course of action to prevent closure.”

The hospital said it could not provide a breakdown of the $6 million that it says it is owed by the state.

Anderson also stated that the hospital and its board of directors “mismanaged their resources into the situation they are in today.”

“The governor is concerned about Roseland’s long term viability,” Anderson said. “Unfortunately, they have failed to respond to our requests for a viable plan to properly run the hospital.”

Powell, though, denied that the hospital was mismanaged, citing that in 18 months, Roseland had reduced a $9 million deficit to $4 million.

Instead, Powell said Roseland hasn’t been able to generate enough cash flow to pay its expenses because it serves a primarily poor population that often doesn’t have any health coverage, including Medicaid.

More than two dozen people gathered at the hospital to protest.

One was Patricia Jones, 58, who says she has a 17-year-old son in the Adolescent Behavioral Health Unit. Jones said her son is being treated for psychoses. Jones said if the health unit closes, she doesn’t know where she’d be able to take her son, who has been at Roseland since April and requires high dosages of medication.

“This is so sad to see we don’t have a hospital. Who wants us?” Jones asked. “And as many casualties as they have here...somebody needs to step up.”

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