Sherman Hospital says it rejected Centegra offer

By Bruce Japsen
Posted Feb. 28 at 3:55 p.m.

Sherman Hospital  confirmed Monday that it has rejected an offer from nearby Centegra Health System to merge into the two-hospital system.

Sherman said executives from Centegra, which owns hospitals in Woodstock and McHenry, was interested in a deal. The talks ended last month, Sherman spokeswoman Christine Priester said. Centegra could not be reached for comment early Monday afternoon.

The independent Sherman replaced its hospital with a $325 million, 255-bed  facility last year that has  all private rooms. The facility was financed mostly with debt.

Though Sherman has a new hospital and Priester said the facility has been expanding market share, more independent hospitals across the country are trying to deal with a rapidly changing health care landscape.

Since the end of the Centegra talks, sources tell the Tribune that Sherman has also been in discussions with Advocate Health Care, the state’s largest provider of medical care, and Alexian Brothers Health System, a nearby rival that owns hospitals in Hoffman Estates and Elk Grove Village. Sherman would not confirm these talks saying the hospital regularly discusses potential partnerships.

“Sherman’s Board has made no commitment to merging with another healthcare system and is committed to remaining independent for as long as possible,” Sherman said in a statement Monday afternoon to the Tribune. “We will continue to maintain open lines of communication with other healthcare providers as we consider the potential value of joining with other providers in order to strengthen Sherman and to better fulfill our mission. ”

Across the country, independent hospitals are looking into partnerships, while others are seeking investors or mergers. The market is demanding economies of scale, and hospitals need large amounts of capital to stay competitive with new computer systems, electronic record-keeping and the latest developments in medical technology.

Though hospitals are expected to benefit from an influx of more than 30 million uninsured patients who will gain access to subsidies to pay for their medical care under the health overhaul law, money for that coverage does not kick in until 2014.

In the meantime, hospitals continue to feel the effects of a stagnant economy and high unemployment. They are seeing more Americans struggling to pay their medical bills, rising numbers of charity-care patients who have no money to pay for their care and a dip in elective surgeries, such as knee or hip replacements.

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One comment:

  1. prairiepractice Feb. 28 at 6:19 pm

    Everyone, please read the next to the last paragraph. What other business would “benefit” from clients that don’t pay? With the exception of our politicians, of course.