Big changes are coming to a hospital on Chicago’s Southwest Side, as Holy Cross Hospital is suspending some services and consolidating others as it deals with significant financial challenges.
The hospital, part of the Sinai Health System Network, is dealing with a shift in patient care trends, and is looking to cut costs.
Beginning Nov. 1, the hospital is temporarily suspending its obstetric services unit.
“I’m concerned because my daughter was born here,” Natta Bell, a patient at the hospital, said.
Holy Cross has seen a steady decline in deliveries in recent years, and hospital officials say that statistic played into their decision to suspend the OB unit’s services.
“When you look at demographics in the child-bearing age segment, it’s been decreasing for a number of years,” Sinai Health System President and CEO Karen Teitelbaum said.
The hospital is also scaling back on its inpatient services, consolidating its surgical and telemetry units, and two critical care units.
“We determined looking at trends of admission that we had ample beds not being utilized,” System COO Airica Steed said. “We are just operating less. We don’t utilize all our beds and we don’t operate at full bed capacity.”
Holy Cross serves many patients who use Medicaid, a state-and-federally-funded health insurance program that serves poor and disabled residents, and while many are concerned about the impact service cuts could have on those communities, Holy Cross officials believe they will still be able to provide a high standard of care.
“We are providing the same quality care. We’re just doing it in a more effective and efficient way,” Steed said.
The consolidation could potentially impact more than 100 hospital workers, including nurses and secretaries. Hospital officials say they are looking to place many of those workers into other positions in the hospital network.
As changes begin to take effect, the patients who use Holy Cross are hopeful that their level of care will remain the same.
“It means a lot to have a hospital like this in your community,” Bell said.