There is a lot of work to be done over the next three months.— A.J. Querciagrossa, chief executive officer for OSF’s western region
On Tuesday, two executives with OSF HealthCare appeared at a breakfast hosted by the Illinois Valley Area Chamber of Commerce to field questions from the business community. The big one, of course, is when newly-acquired facilities will be opened to patients.
A.J. Querciagrossa, chief executive officer for OSF’s western region, said the scheduled opening dates for the Spring Valley and Oglesby clinics. While everyone wants to know when the former Illinois Valley Community Hospital in Peru will be reopened, there simply is no date yet.
“But it’s not going to be a year from now,” Querciagrossa said.
OSF is working through a series of regulatory hurdles needed to reopen the hospital. OSF completed the acquisition of Peru and other properties on Nov. 17 but there still is work to be done.
Next up is a comprehensive survey and update of the Peru facility’s network and IT infrastructure. Once that is completed, the Illinois Department of Public Health has to sign off and grant OSF a license to open.
“There is a lot of work to be done over the next three months,” Querciagrossa said.
State Rep. Lance Yednock (D-Ottawa) said the agencies in Springfield understand the urgency.
Yednock said the governor’s office and IDPH are among the offices that “will make this a priority once OSF is ready to go through the inspection processes.”
OSF has plenty of work to do after addressing regulatory issues. Determining the need for bed space and coordinating with EMS companies are among the myriad issues yet to be sorted.
Even when opened, the Peru hospital will have “very limited capacity.” Why? They won’t immediately be able to bill and collect payment for services provided.
“With very few exceptions will not be paid – at all,” said Dawn Trompeter, president for OSF St. Elizabeth and St. Paul medical centers.
Despite the phased-in opening spelled out Tuesday, Querciagrossa said there is no truth to rumors that the Peru hospital will be another Streator, which is to say an ambulatory care center.
“Is this is a real hospital?” Querciagrossa said. “Yes, it’s a full-service hospital, not a dumbed-down version.”
Even when opened, however, OSF anticipates grappling with the widespread problems in rural healthcare that have resulted in the shutdown of 195 rural hospitals since 2005.
Trompeter said digital outreach and telemedicine will be expanded, as 80% of services are provided on an outpatient basis.
OSF’s long-term plan includes outreach to schools to encourage kids to pursue many diverse careers within healthcare. Additionally, OSF has no plans to acquire the Spring Valley hospital. Surgical services will be available in Peru, but the timeline is to be determined.
Will OSF have a home medical supply storefront?
It’s “not on the horizon” OSF will have an obstetrics and gynecology clinic in Peru. (The labor and delivery unit remains in Ottawa, at least for now)
Will patients be able to avoid traveling to Peoria?
For some services, such as heart surgery, patients must go to Peoria.