Hospitals Closing to Move to Wealthier Neighborhoods

After a decade of losing money, St. Elizabeth Hospital's officials are planning to close the 303-bed hospital and move elsewhere. They are seeking state approval to build a $300-million facility 7 miles northeast in a wealthier city.

Nearly as old as the railroad that slices through this southern Illinois city just east of the Mississippi River, St. Elizabeth’s Hospital has been a downtown bedrock since 1875.

But St. E’s, as locals call it, now faces financial troubles, largely a result of the costs of maintaining an obsolete facility and of treating more low-income and uninsured patients from Belleville and neighboring East St. Louis, one of the poorest cities in the Midwest.

After a decade of losing money, St. Elizabeth’s officials are taking a radical step: Like a small but growing number of hospitals around the country, they plan to close the 303-bed hospital and move elsewhere. They are seeking state approval to build a $300-million facility 7 miles northeast, in O’Fallon, a wealthier city that is one of the fastest-growing communities in the St. Louis region with new subdivisions, proximity to a regional mall and quick access to Interstate 64.

Read more at Kaiser Health News: http://bit.ly/1I6opbw