Loyola’s Pending Purchase Of Berwyn Hospital Worries Taxpayers, Union

Tuesday, February 27, 2018 || By Local News Curator || @maywoodnews 

Featured image: MacNeal Hospital in Berwyn. | MacNeal 

Loyola Medicine, based in Maywood, is planning on purchasing MacNeal Hospital in Berwyn for $270 million . The approval of the purchase was scheduled to be voted on today by the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board.

But some people in Berwyn, along with one of the country’s largest trade unions, are taking exception to the pending merger, according to multiple reports.

Berwyn City Administrator Brian Pabst said he “supports Loyola,” according to a Chicago Tribune article, but “worries that taxpayers would have to absorb the loss of revenue if MacNeal converts to a nonprofit.”

MacNeal, which is owned by Tenet Healthcare, a for-profit hospital chain, pumps an estimated $3.3 million worth of property taxes into Berwyn’s government coffers, according to Pabst. Crain’s estimates that MacNeal pays around $3.5 million in property taxes each year, based on county data.

If MacNeal is acquired by Loyola, which as a nonprofit hospital system is exempt from property taxes, that revenue flow to Berwyn will be cut off.

Tenet, based in Dallas, is looking to leave Chicago altogether, the Tribune reported, adding that it plans on selling Westlake Hospital in Melrose Park as it stages its departure.

“About three-quarters of Illinois hospitals are nonprofits like Loyola, and by state law they are exempt from having to pay hundreds of millions of dollars in property taxes so long as the value of their charitable services is equal to or greater than their estimated tax liabilities,” the Tribune reported.

The Service Employees International Union stated that the Loyola purchase would threaten the viability of schools and services in Berwyn, Crain’s reported. The SEIU said that the deal should accompany a strong community benefits agreement to ensure that Loyola pays its fair share to residents.

A spokesman for Loyola said that the merger includes a series of community benefits, such as $145 million in “unreimbursed care and programs and activities to support local communities,” Crain’s reported.

If the review board approves the purchase today, the merger will be finalized on Wednesday and modified signs will start appearing in the next several weeks, Loyola officials told the Tribune.

The hospital’s “MacNeal name will stay and there are no layoffs or staff changes planned,” according to the Tribune.

Read the full Tribune report here. Read the full Crain’s report here. VFP 

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