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Sacred Heart Hospital closes after execs charged in kickback scheme

Updated: July 1, 2013 9:46PM

Sacred Heart Hospital, which recently came under a federal microscope for medical fraud that included charges of performing unnecessary tracheotomies, abruptly closed Monday.

After hearing the news Monday, the Illinois Department of Public Health moved quickly to ensure patient safety at the hospital, located at 3240 W. Franklin Blvd.

“We got a call this afternoon from the hospital saying that they’d be closing today, so we sent someone there to assess the situation and see what patients were there, if they needed to be discharged or needed to be transferred,” said Department of Public Health spokesman Melaney Arnold. “We also wanted to make sure medical records were secured and that we notified the EMS system so they know not to do ambulance runs there.”

It’s unclear whether the West Side hospital will face any punishment for dodging the requirement that it alert the Department of Public Health 90 days before shutting down.

The closure comes about six weeks after the FBI announced two hospital executives, including owner Edward Novak, 58, of Park Ridge, and five doctors were charged in a kickback and health care fraud scheme in which unnecessary medical services were performed to collect fees from Medicare and Medicaid insured patients.

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