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Application filed to reopen Westlake Hospital

Application filed to reopen Westlake Hospital

An application has been filed with the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board to reopen the former Westlake Hospital in Melrose Park.

The application, filed by Woodlake Pacific Holdings LLC and Woodlake Specialty Hospital LLC, says the hospital will have 230 beds – the same as when Westlake closed in 2019. The plan calls for 80 acute mental illness beds, 60 long-term care beds, 44 long-term acute care beds, six intensive care unit beds and 40 comprehensive physical rehabilitation beds.

The facility, to be renamed Woodlake Hospital, will also maintain a standby emergency department.

“Woodlake Hospital will treat all patients, regardless of their ability to pay,” the applicants said. “Thus, Woodlake Hospital will treat Medicare, Medicaid and charity care patients.”

The application comes as Gov. JB Pritzker signed a plan into law in April intended to expedite the sale of the facility. The narrowly written law allows an entity to re-establish a previously discontinued general acute care safety-net hospital closed in 2019 or 2020 to file a certificate of exemption – rather than a certificate of need – to re-establish the same number of beds as were previously available when operations were initially discontinued.

The law also requires a new buyer to spend at least $20 million to re-establish the hospital, to adopt and maintain a charity care policy that is no less restrictive than what was in place prior to the original closure, accept Medicaid patients and agree to maintain ownership of the hospital for no less than five years after reopening.

According to the application, Woodlake Pacific Holdings entered into a purchase and sale agreement last year to acquire the hospital and other assets for $11,450,000. The purchase agreement is “expressly contingent” upon the review board’s approval to establish a new general acute care hospital on the site.

The total estimated project cost is nearly $43.4 million.

The applicants anticipate opening the facility by the end of 2022, though they noted the Illinois Department of Public Health’s licensing process and Medicare certification process could “extend this date.”

A public hearing on the application is scheduled for June 15.

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