Galesburg Cottage Clinic filing for bankruptcy, OSF Hospital ‘prepared and ready’ for patient influx

The bankruptcy filing comes after Galesburg Cottage Hospital was given a termination notice from CMS because of multiple health and safety violations.
Published: Jan. 5, 2022 at 12:07 PM CST
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GALESBURG, Illinois (KWQC) - Galesburg Cottage Clinic has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy according to Courtney Bibo, Cottage Hospital director of community and staff relations.

“The clinic has filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy to reorganize to ensure its viability in the medium and long term,” Bibo said in an email to TV6. “The hospital is not included in this bankruptcy. The Clinic Corporation intends to continue to operate throughout the process and emerge with a more sustainable model.”

The bankruptcy filing comes after Galesburg Cottage Hospital was given a termination notice from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services resulting from multiple health and safety violations.

The notice was later extended to January 14. According to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the Medicare program will not make payment for inpatient hospital services given to patients who are admitted after January 14, 2022. For patients admitted on January 14, or earlier, payment may continue for up to 30 calendar days of inpatient hospital services. CMS says the deadline has been extended “in order to satisfy a regulatory notice requirement.”

In the notice, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services said the agreement has been terminated because of the hospital’s noncompliance with four different sections of the Medicare Conditions of Participation: governing body, patient rights, nursing services, and physical environment.

Amid the bankruptcy, OSF St. Mary Hospital, the only other hospital in Galesburg, held a job fair this week to fill open positions. 82 applicants came to the fair. OSF officials say they are ready to take on a potential influx of patients who might leave Cottage Clinic to seek care at OSF.

“We really have been preparing ourselves for this. Over the last few years, as we have managed the pandemic here at St. Mary Medical Center, we have also been hard at work to really build the infrastructure we need to solely support our community,” said Lisa DeKezel, President at OSF Healthcare St. Mary Medical Center. “It’s been a lot of work to make sure we have the right facilities, right people, services, and equipment. This has been a real key focus for us. So we are, we are poised and prepared to make sure we can meet the needs of our community.”

OSF says more employees will also help them with the surge in COVID-19 cases. Across the hospital system on Dec 29, 335 people were hospitalized with the virus, 59 of whom were in the ICU.

“Our ICU, our beds, remain full and as patients are discharged and we have beds open up in the ICU, they are filled. We are currently adding 3 additional ICU beds,” said DeKezel.

Despite the surge, OSF says they are ready to help patients who may transfer care from Cottage to OSF.

“It’s really our job to be astute and really know our healthcare partners in our communities and those in surrounding us and just to remain alert because our job is to make sure the needs of the community are met. So, we remain aware of the current state in our communities and we respond accordingly and that’s what we have done here at OSF,” DeKezel said.

You can read the full termination notice and violations at Cottage Hospital here. An explanation of the Conditions of Participation for Hospitals can be found on the Code of Federal Regulation’s website.

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