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Will third time be charm for Edward Plainfield?

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Pardon us for being blunt, but this is getting ridiculous. Peoples' lives could be at stake.

You still mean to tell us, oh wise ones at the Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board, that Plainfield -- one of the fastest-growing communities in one of the fastest-growing counties in the nation -- doesn't have enough need for a hospital of its own. Right.

Try telling that to the Plainfield families caught in traffic trying to get to Naperville's Edward Hospital or one of the other full-service hospitals in Aurora or Joliet that are miles and precious minutes away.

Twice before the petition has been denied. We're sure it had nothing to do with Edward CEO Pam Davis blowing the whistle on the pay-to-play-on-steroids corruption at the IHFPB. Her defiance probably brought down Tony Rezko, after all. Nah, that couldn't have anything to do with it. What did the board say last time, out of the blue? That Edward should build a women's hospital? What the hell is that??!!!

Sorry, but we're passionate about the blatant unfairness Edward has had to endure for years. Meanwhile, the Bolingbrook hospital was approved, built and opened. A Joliet hospital's wish to move to New Lenox is granted. And other proposals sail through.

Are we right? What do you think? Will the board on Tuesday finally approve Edward Plainfield Hospital? Or will it deny it, again? Or delay action, again?

UPDATE 3:15 p.m. TUESDAY: The state board once again denied the petition for Edward Plainfield Hospital.

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35 Comments

I dont think Edward needs another hospital in the Plainfield area. They are treating people on based of suspicion without doing all necessary tests to fill up the beds in Naperville

http://coumadinbirth.blogspot.com/2008/08/my-story-so-far.html

After my pregnancy I developed a bit high heart rate. Edward forced me to get a CT scan which read The evaluation of chest is limited by respiratory motion. Bilateral PE suspected.

There was no DVT and Edward started me on anticoagulants. I had a near fatal bleed and while they were prepping me for surgery my husband refused to sign the papers. We were getting ready to sign AMA. Then Edward docs did a second CTA and it said follow up study for possible PE

Doc told me that this is the norm at Edward. Inconclusive reports are enough to keep patients on medications for years. My story is on my blog.

I dont think Edward needs another hospital in the Plainfield area. They are treating people on based of suspicion without doing all necessary tests to fill up the beds in Naperville

http://coumadinbirth.blogspot.com/2008/08/my-story-so-far.html

After my pregnancy I developed a bit high heart rate. Edward forced me to get a CT scan which read The evaluation of chest is limited by respiratory motion. Bilateral PE suspected.

There was no DVT and Edward started me on anticoagulants. I had a near fatal bleed and while they were prepping me for surgery my husband refused to sign the papers. We were getting ready to sign AMA. Then Edward docs did a second CTA and it said follow up study for possible PE

Doc told me that this is the norm at Edward. Inconclusive reports are enough to keep patients on medications for years. My story is on my blog.

Anonymous,
Nice report!

As you said the Naperville Township office should be disolved and eliminated.

I have a quarter acre of land and they assess me on a value of 60,500. Many of my neighbors have acre lots in many cases on beautiful cul-de-sacs and they assess them at 56,900.

I complained and then formally appealed to the Naperville Township but got nowhere.

Before I appealed they promised they would rememdy the situation the next time they assessed. Well, that was 9 years ago, and they have remedied nothing.

In my appeal they gave me a token reduction to appease me worth a couple of hundred dollars a year. It was not based on the land value but they said they had accidentally oversized my home by a few hundred square feet and the computer got the error 30 years later.

Nothing about Edward's Hospital makes sense. Unless they are pro-rating taxable portions against non-taxable portions. For example the doctor's offices at Edward's sit on land that is taxable. The hospital which is "Charity" sits on land that is not taxable.

I would like to point out that the profit numbers you showed would be much greater if the doctors and top dogs were not paid million dollar salaries a year. Those are hidden in the expenses! Take those salaries out of expenses and you will see a hospital that is EXTREMELY PROFITABLE!


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PS. Are you a retired lawyer, Anonymous? You sure know where to dig!!!
And you seem to have a lot of time on your hands!

An important piece of what was missing from what I wrote very early this morning is that it is not unusual for organizations such as a non-profit hospital to also have one or more for-profit subsidiaries. Yes, it is perfectly legal provided certain rules and limitations are followed.

The problem is trying to find and track the for profit subsidiaries because the financials are not filed along with 990 information. Until we know the depth and scope of all subsidiaries we won't know the true financial totals for Edward Hospital.

Edwards has to pay taxes on activities that are not related to its core hospital. That includes the Health Club and the doctors offices that they own.

However, as 1:35 am Annonymous illustrates, they provide the information for the assessors on the losses of these facilities that results in very low assessments. We should send the assessors the 990 information and have Edward's reconcile that to what they supply the assessor.

If my comment is printed in the Naperville Sun, please use my initials in lower case letters.
I reccommend that Edward Hospital begin construction immediately on the Plainfield Hospital so that completion date will be early in year 2010. Perhaps by then the State of Illinois Hospital Regulation Committee can study the situation and see the need for the Plainfield. Or maybe not. Let them sue, censure or throw a fit. We don't need that group.
I have read the history of the TB Sanatorium and of the change to a hospital. The name is Edward Hospital, the first name of the man who is honored by the name. pgh

JQP,

You bet it is. And we are not even talking yet about the additional cost of perks, benefits, and expense accounts.

Don't forget that most of the docs and top dogs at Edwards have their fingers in many other things so the salary they are pulling down from Edwards is only part of the total picture. You have to understand all of the different pockets that they hide their money and operations under:

Edward Health Services Corporation, mission "To Provide Administrative Services to Affiliated Healthcare Organizations"... as in to all those subsidiaries listed below by providing financial and management assistance including providing top level management services as well as administrative support. Translation - $39MM in this pot alone was paid out to the top dogs and another $9MM was paid out for administrative support. All of these numbers are verifiable and were gathered from public records filed on IRS form 990 for fiscal year ending in 2006:
Revenue $53MM, Expenses $48MM, Profit $5MM, Assets $75.2MM, Liabilities $14.8MM, Fund Balance $60.5MM

Edward Health Ventures - To Support and Encourage Healthcare and Related Services
Revenue $53.8MM, Expenses $26MM, Profit $27.7MM, Assets $89.6MM, Liabilities $35.4MM, Fund Balance $54.3MM

Edward Hospital
Revenue $405.5MM, Expenses $403.5MM, Profit $3MM Assets $523.6MM, Liabilities $315.3MM, Fund Balance $208.3MM

Edward Health & Fitness Centers, mission "Health and Wellness Education for Community"
Revenue $10.3MM, Expenses $9.2MM, Profit $1MM, Assets $18.3MM, Liabilities $1.7MM, Fund Balance $16.6MM

Edward Foundation, mission "To Support and Encourage Healthcare"
Revenue $1.5MM, Expenses $1.4MM, Profit $200K, Assets $6.6MM, Liabilities $113K, Fund Balance $6.5MM

Naperville Psychiatric Ventures (Linden Oaks)
Revenue $26.2MM, Expenses $24.9MM, Profit $1.3MM, Assets $14.4MM, Liabilities $4.0MM, Fund Balance $10.4MM

There may be more subsidiaries that I was not able to find and there is also the possibility that additional subsidiaries have been created since 2006.

Looking at the totals of all the pieces of the puzzle currently identified it looks like this for 2006:

Revenue $550,000,000.00
Expenses $512,000,000.00
Profit $38,000,000.00 ---- yes you read that right.... $38 million dollars of profit. Not bad for a non profit, huh?

Assets $728,000,000.00
Liabilities $371,000,000.00
Fund Balance $357,000,000.00 --- that's right folks over 1/3 billion dollars left over. Not bad for a non profit, huh?

Now here is where things took a bit of an interesting turn that I didn't expect. Everywhere I have lived previously non-profit hospitals registered as a 501(c)(3) Public Charity, as is Edwards, did not pay property taxes. On a whim I checked the Naperville Township Assessor Site and it appears that I was wrong and Edwards is paying some property taxes... a total of $199,314.52 for tax year 2007. Now what is weird is that there is no prior history listed so it is hard to determine if this is the first year Edward paid taxes or not. The second part of what is weird is the taxed plot as shown by the assessor only accounts for about 60% of the actual footprint occupied by all of the Edward entities at the main campus. I did not have the time or energy to chase down all of the various properties that are off-site. However working with what the assessor has rated this site I am totally shocked. He has listed a land value for a site he has identified as having 1,016,690 sq ft of land (not building square feet) with a land value of $119,640.00. You have got to be kidding me, right? Most of the lots our own homes sit on are worth more than that and most Naperville lots are in the 10K - 20K square foot range. Next he has listed the total improvements at $3.5MM. I know I'm repeating myself, but you have got to be kidding me, right? Just the MRI in Radiology cost more than $3.5MM. Edward Hospital's balance sheet lists fixed assets at over $219MM. Ok, I know that figure includes the Plainfield site, the fitness center in Lisle, and a few other things, but the assessor is so far off the mark it is absolutely unbelievable. Heck there are a single family homes in Naperville that have improvements valued at $3.5MM.

Now just for the heck of it since we don't have another hospital to compare tax rates with I used my own tax bill and my own lot square footage to compare things on a proportionate basis. If Edwards Hospital was paying at the residential rate they would be paying a real estate tax bill of at least $616,000.00 and there isn't a residence in Naperville that has that type of construction or finishes. Then I compared Edward Hospital to Nalco up on Diehl Road. Nalco has a big campus and several buildings so there are some similarities. Now the good people up at Nalco have a campus that is 2.74 times the size of the campus listed for Edwards. The good people at Nalco also pay over $1,400,000.00 every year in property taxes. Again looking at it from a simple proportionate basis at the Nalco commercial property tax rate Edwards would be paying about $516,000 a year in property taxes. It is also a generalization but the Nalco land is valued at just under $7MM which means on a proportionate basis Edwards land is worth at least $2.55MM. Improvements are not as easy to compare because what is mostly offices at Nalco are not nearly as expensive to build as a hospital.

Regardless, someone at the Naperville Township Assessors office has some big time explaining to do to every taxpayer in Naperville. Why is only about 60% of the land accounted for? Why is the land value so low? Why is the improvement value so low? Why is the total assessed value so low? Why is Edwards Hospital who is absolutely flush with cash not properly assessed? How did this happen and why and what is going to be done when to correct it?

Considering that the lions share of our property tax bill goes to SD 203 it would appear that the SD is loosing out of several hundred thousand dollars or more each year from what Edward should be paying in their fair share of property taxes.

This just gets weirder and weirder.

Another Anonymous, you must be truly naive if you think the present hospital planning board and its bosses will not keep punishing Edwards Hospital and Plainfield for having the gall to expose the old boys network that was making them rich. The present board has to do nothing illegal to keep Edwards from moving forward. They can just keep making any excuse they want to not approve the hospital. Of course, I do have to question the intelligence of one who panics so much over a paper cut that they go to the emergency room for it.

Speaking of emergency rooms, I have been to the urgent care unit that Edwards built on 127th street several times, and with the exception of a Sunday morning visit, they have always been busy. I don't think they would have any problem keeping a hundred bed hospital busy without hurting theirs, or other hospitals in the area. I also know people from Plainfield that have gone to St.Joseph's in Joliet and have had to wait for beds to become available.

By the way, if it is so convenient to get to Edwards at rush hour, why did paramedics have to airlift victims involved in an auto accident near the YMCA on Shoger drive at rush hour a couple of months ago? Those victims would have been 5 minutes away from the new hospital, and not been dependent on the availability of a helicopter to keep them alive.

Anonymouse 10:58 am, you make some serious charges against Edwards. Do you happen to have any proof? By the way, have you ever had an extended hospital stay? I have, and my bill was well over $350,000, and I was diagnosed with a disease that has kept me from working for over a year and a half. My portion of the bill was huge, even though I had insurance. The hospital knew I would be unable to work for quite a while, so they gave me the charity forms for debt reduction. Does this make me one of your "deadbeats"? I was ready to make a payment plan that would have taken years to pay off, and they made their charity plan available to me to help me out, even though I knew nothing about it until they mentioned it. You may consider me a deadbeat, but I am glad they did indeed practice charity. I hope you are never put in the position I was put in, but if you are, let me know if you consider yourself a deadbeat.

Bottom line is that the hospital is needed, and will probably never be approved while the present governor is in office. Those of you that are lucky enough to live close to Edwards, and those of you who hate Edwards for whatever reason will never admit this, but as some consistently show by their attack posts, an open mind is not required to post here.

I was rushed when I posted my last comment.

One more point. Edward's hospital borrows its money with tax exempt bonds. Another subsidy from the taxpayers.

Anonymous,
I agree with you it is ridiculous to have a charity or non-profit hospital in the wealthiest town in America with over 100k in population. Once again Naperville came out 1st in median household income with $97,077, 1st with percentage of residents making over 200k, and 1st for Upper 20% threshold for income in the USA.

Even if Edward's wanted to be charitable, there is little charity needed to be given in Naperville compared to most places in the country. Yes, Edwards, considers it deadbeat cases charity cases.

With so many executives and doctors making over a million dollars a year at Edwards, I am not surprised Naperville came in number one in the most recent wealth survey that came out on August 2008.

If a hospital can pay top executives working for a "CHARITY" so well it should be liable for real estate and corporate taxes.

Yes, I will be very upset this year when I pay my real estate taxes and I will remember CEO Pamela Meyer Davis and the rest of the gang of top officials at Edward's who managed to exempt a huge profitable organization that can waste 65 million on a thrice rejected location! Money does grow on trees at Edward's because the City of Naperville looks the other way. Let us tax that land and building, Mayor Pradel! They don't deserve a free ride. Hell, they charge 1400 dollars to glue a paper cut on your index finger if you panic and make the mistake of showing up in the EMERGENY ROOM!

Thanks for all the information, Anonynous. Keep up the great work!

The data is copied and pasted below from the latest national statistics regarding the XTREME WEATH in NAPERVILLE.


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Naperville, Ill.

Population: 139,155

Wealth profile
(Ranks in parentheses)
Median household income: $97,077 (1st of 261)
Incomes of $200,000 or more: 15.0% (1st of 261)
Upper 20% threshold for income: $174,867 (1st of 261)
Note: Study group includes 261 communities with populations above 100,000. See methodology for details about each wealth factor and the rating formula.

Anonymous wrote:

"The top 3 executive and the top dozen doctors all earn over a million dollars a year."

Is that a straight salary in every case?

Dan D makes an excellent point.

It is fully possible to own and operate a for profit hospital, though we will not find that there are very many hospitals that are structured as such in the US.

I do think that the tax laws are way beyond the point of needing to be changed significantly to address the total exploitation of charity and non-profit status in health care. There will always be a need for government run hospitals, charity hospitals, and non-profit hospitals. The legal test of what qualifies as a charity or non-profit hospital absolutely needs to be addressed by the state and federal government.

Edward Hospital is the poster child for how this tax sheltering status has been abused. Edward Hospital pays no corporate taxes, pays no real estate taxes, and pays no sales taxes on the vast majority of its revenue stream. Edwards Hospital sits on free land provided by the taxpayers and its original buildings were also provided gratis from the taxpayer. Yet Edwards Hospital consumes huge portions of city services and staff time. Large portions at the state level. Some at the federal level.

Edward Hospital provides literally no charity health care. Literally no charity health care means they turn patients away at the door if they do not have insurance or the means to pay for needed services. It also means they provide next to nothing when compared to any other hospital in this state... and the amount of charity health care provided can be compare in terms of hospital size, services offered, number of beds, or dollars of revenue. Whatever the metric used for comparative purposes, Edward Hospital provides less charity care than any other hospital in its class in this state. In fact it also provides less charity care than a whole lot of hospitals that are significantly smaller as well.

Edward Hospital tries to use smoke and mirrors by misleading people into believing they provide charity health care when they really do not and in fact provide next to nothing. Edward Hospital will try to take credit and write down bad patient debts as charity health care when it really was not delivered to charity patients, just run-of-the-mill deadbeats. Edward Hospital marketing department will show up in full force at all kinds of events throughout the local area to do all kinds of "screenings" and "health fairs"... which are nothing more than a disguised marketing and referral service specifically designed with the intent of generating new patients and more business. Sorry to give you this bad news, but they are really hoping you will flunk the test at the free screening. If they weren't getting a steady stream of new patients from being there they wouldn't be showing up. At the same time all of these "free" screenings and health fairs are not written off as a marketing expense, they are written off as if Edward Hospital provided free health care to someone. What a joke and sad abuse that the tax system allows this kind of cheating and nonsense.

The top 3 executive and the top dozen doctors all earn over a million dollars a year. Together they are sucking a ton of money out of this cash cow every year and Edward Hospital isn't giving even a token of anything back to the community. The money flows in one direction only and that is into the pockets of those who control Edward Hospital and the board of directors. If this was a for profit corporation the shareholders would be getting a great rate of return on their investment. Truth is the CEO and the board gobble up every cent of the profit and don't have to share any of it with a single shareholder, they don't have to pay any dividends, and they are not accountable to anyone but themselves. Yeah, go ahead and try to get on the Edward Board. Better yet, try to get someone off the Edward Board. What a nice little incestuous group this is.

We would be hard pressed to find a better example of another organization anywhere in the state that is less deserving of non-profit status. Think about how fair it is that Edward Hospital pays zero property taxes next month when you pay the second installment of your own property taxes.

What is the old saying....? Three strikes and you are out...

There is another old saying that also comes to mind... you tell the smart people once, you tell the average people twice, and you tell the dummies three times... How many times does the board have to tell Davis before she finally understands the message?

This entire planning board should be shelved and sent to Siberia. The entire healthcare system is riddled with government control that has to increase costs.

But do not shed a tear for Edwards Hospital. Instead, all "charity", not for profit hospitals should be outlawed. They should be replaced by for profit companies that compete in a market environment rather than plead before a socialistic board you would expect in Moscow rather than the united states.

As a for profit corporation, hospitals would be free to build whereever they want. However, they would also have to pay income taxes on their profits, property taxes on their land holdings, and be subject to laws such as anti-trust, consumer honesty and other regulations that other private corporations must comply.

And in Edwards case, they should pay the taxpayers for the value of their land before they become a public corporation. That land as well as core buildings were funded with tax dollars. Maybe they will move to Plainfield instead.

Lastly, besides making hospitals for profit corporations, the same should be done for the insurance companies. Further, these companies should be allowed to chose national marketing and regulation to eliminate any control by state governments. Particularly corrupt governments prevelant in Illinois.

I wish the board would stop playing games and let Edward Hospital be built in Plainfield.

Thank You

For Those Who Think the Decision was Corrupt,

While Boards in the past have been corrupt and Boards in the future will be corrupt, the current Board is not corrupt....or maybe I should say apparently not yet corrupt.

They are well informed that the FBI and Attorney General threw some heavy weights in jail over the first Edward's rejection. No one is going to pull the same stunt twice while the Feds are still focused.

The current board probably went overboard to be fair. They knew they were being watched and scrutinized.

They probably gave CEO Davis every benefit of every doubt and ruled against her because theat was the PROPER DECISION.

It is really that simple. Illinios will always be corrupt. But people will be sraight while the recent jailings our fresh on their minds. It was just a month ago that Rezko and his cronies started serving their sentences. As soon as they forget about the recent jailings, it will be back to business as usual in Illinois...corruption will rear its ugly face every which way you look!

Let us be real but not have any false illusions or hope!

John Q. Public,

Yes, your use of the word OBVIOUS as you correctly noted upset me and if you would have used the word APPARENT, I would have not chosen the words I chose.

OBVIOUS is a very strong word and there is nothing so OBVIOUS about needing a hospital for 37,000 people when the surrounding communities of Naperville, Bolingbrook, Aurora and Joliet all have hospitals serving Plainfied residents. The 30 minute ride to the nearest hospital is an illusion as Anonymous desribed eloquently.

I do agree with Anonymous' thoughts and reasoning. I believe a foothold is being established way before necessary to get a hold on the market and thwart future competition at a great expense to current patients and their insurance companies.

If Edwards and Pamela Meyer Davis were sincere in trying to be close to their patients, they would not have added 4 or 5 floors on to the current Edward Hospital when only one third of their patients are from Naperville. They would have built in other areas in the first place instead of adding such a large number of beds to the existing building.

Since the Board was evaluating available beds in the area, Edward's Hosptial and Pamela Meyers Davis shot themselves in the foot by increasing the beds in their existing facility. Since the Board was counting beds, they sealed their own REJECTION by the Board having already adding those beds in their Naperville Hospital.

I think the Edward's Board should take a closer look at CEO DAVIS. She may not be the best possible CEO for Edwards. She has wasted a lot of money on this Plainfield Project. I beleive she has hurt Edward's bottom line. She is trying to cover her outrageous spending on this thrice failed project by thinning the staff at Edward's to almost a skeleton. Many employees have been laid off and many have been fired due to her incompetence. They are paying the price for her BLUNDERS!

The wrong people are paying the price for her egotistical behavior.

I think you are a very nice gentleman, Mr. John Q. Public, and I always enjoy and respect your writings. This time though I think you were ill-informed! Don't take it too personal if I criticized one of your posts. I admire and repect most of your posts. You are knowm to be a man of reason and logic on these threads. This time you did not seem reasonable for some odd reason. It seemed John Q. Obvious was writing instead of the well respected John Q. Public!

Sorry I was a few thousand off on the population of Plainfield....I was roughly estimating....but those few thousand do not invalidate my points about the lack of NEED and the EGO of Ms. Davis!

We will all have to wait and see if Plainfield reaches 120,000 by 2030 or not won't we? By then Meyer's will likely either be retired or working somewhere else.

Let's once and for all end the Naperville / Plainfield thing, OK? These decisions are not about Plainfield period. Nor are they about Naperville. These decisions are based upon need and the current availability of services. If Plainfield didn't even exist and all of Plainfield was part of Naperville the decision would not have been any different.

Let's not forget that the exaggerated claims of 30 minute drives from point A to point B are worst case scenarios during rush hour hitting every red light possible. Emergency services simply do not have the same travel times and can make these same runs, even during rush hour, in less than half the time of an average motorist. We didn't pay to site fire stations where they are located without good reason and we didn't pay for lights, sirens, and traffic pre-emption systems for nothing either. They have a purpose and they work effectively. Anyone who has had a serious accident or heart attack and is being driven in a private automobile during rush hour is having their life risked over taking advantage of our local EMS system. Anyone who wanted to go to the hospital that way is a fool. Anyone who would drive another person that way is an even bigger fool.

Edward Hospital simply wants to establish a foothold to control and dominate the market today IN CASE the market develops some time in the future. Let's face it, there really are a lot of unknowns. There are some experts who think Plainfield will take off with development. There are other expertss who think it will be many years before any kind of housing industry boom returns and then their are others who think this area has cooled with demand and the market for new housing will now shift to the east now that the new I355 extension is completed. There are other predictions, but these are the main three. One out of three isn't very good odds. Do we really want to bet the farm on these kinds of odds?

Building a hospital in the proposed location at this point in time is a huge financial gamble. Every citizen in Naperville should be very concerned about any gambling with the security of our existing hospital. If this gamble fails and if it bankrupts Edwards to the extent that it closes like most bankrupt hospitals we should all be gravely concerned about the ramifications.

There are two primary causes that force hospitals to go bankrupt. The first is providing too much free care to uninsured or underinsured patients. The second is having too many empty beds versus the fixed overhead cost of operations. Right now there really is a very good balance between existing capacity among area hospitals and demand. Adding additional beds into the existing system at this time will only rob Peter to pay Paul... meaning some or all of the surrounding hospitals must give up some patients to fill beds in any new hospital.

If such a shift in bed utilization causes to much financial strain on any of these existing hospitals it could precipitate a failure that could potentially have an even worse ripple effect thru the entire local health care system. Free market forces do not always apply as expected to certain industries, health care included. While one would tend to think that having an excess supply of patient beds would stimulate competition and lower costs it actually has the opposite effect of raising prices due to inefficient operations. If it is a government supported hospital system like the VA most people don't care if it is inefficient. However when it is their local hospital and they are paying for their care they usually do.

You can call me selfish if you want. Right now I am more interested in seeing the existing Edward Hospital remain financially healthy to provide care to those patients who choose to be treated there. When the growth in marginal areas has exceeded the point where the experts determine there is enough additional demand to support another hospital I will support one being built. Not until then though.

Whether such as hospital is built by Edwards or someone else really isn't important to me. I see no logic in supporting Edward Hospital in executing what is little more than a land and market share grab designed to ensure that they will have little to no competition at some unknown future point in time when this service area develops. Nor do I see any logic in supporting and subsidizind Edward Hospital to operate what will be an inefficient and underperforming hospital for an unknown number of years.

"And a recent study done by the state shows that more general several hospital beds are also needed there."

Make that:

"And a recent study done by the state shows that more general service hospital beds are also needed there."

Also:

"You may think we can wait until they hit 150,000 before someone starts building them a hospital, but I certainly don't that’s wise."

...should be:

"You may think we can wait until they hit 150,000 before someone starts building them a hospital, but I certainly don't think that’s wise."

Another Anonymous,

You’re right that I haven’t done much in the way of research (have you?). I’ve only read what’s been reported in the local newspapers. From these, I’ve learned that there is a already a pressing need for obstetrical beds in the Plainfield area. And a recent study done by the state shows that more general several hospital beds are also needed there. The disagreement is not over the need for more hospital beds, but over the number of beds needed. So, if my use of the word “obvious” really upset you, why don’t we replace it with “apparent”? Especially given that Plainfield, which already has 37,000 residents (not the 30,000 you said) is projected to have a population of 120,000 by 2030. You may think we can wait until they hit 150,000 before someone starts building them a hospital, but I certainly don't that’s wise. The existing hospitals in adjacent cities would definitely feel the strain, and it would negatively impact the availability of health care, particularly emergency services, that we receive here in Naperville. One third of Edwards’ patients already come from Naperville.

Speaking of emergency services, I don’t know about you, but I don’t think a thirty minute drive to the nearest hospital (the standard the board apparently uses) is a very comforting thought for the victim of a serious accident or heart attack for whom every second counts. Maybe I’ve been spoiled, though. As you’ve pointed out, I haven’t lived here very long. I moved here from a city about the size of Naperville in another state. There were three hospitals within five miles of my house; I believe they were all as big as or bigger than Edwards.

By the way, there used to be FOUR hospitals within five miles of my former home. One of them closed a few years before I moved. It seems the area was over-served with hospitals. It didn’t take an appointed board with near dictatorial powers to shut the hospital down, though. Market forces took care of that, and the hospital’s trustees responded accordingly. Don’t get me wrong: I’m the last person who’d argue that a free market works in all situations, and that government regulation is always bad. It’s just that having too MANY hospital beds in an area is not the kind of problem that I think warrants the interference of the government (too few, perhaps, but not too many). I don’t lose sleep worrying about this problem, and if Pam Davis thinks she could make this work, why should three friends of the governor be allowed to stand in her way? After all, it’s her neck that would be on the line if the new hospital were not a success.

On a side note, why is it that whenever you disagree with someone you accuse them of being in bed with the vested interests? You’ve accused me of needing to keep my ego in check, but what does it say about your ego that you seem to think your opinion is so clearly the right one that anyone who disagrees must have an ulterior motive? I might very well ask you if YOU are married to someone on the Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board, but where would that leave us?

-JQP

The board may not feel the need for a hospital, but a lot of the people in Naperville. do. I have experienced it myself that when a family member was taken to Edwards and they really wanted to admit them but there was no beds available so instead they treated them just as outpatient and then sent them home.
Maybe out of town patients should be charged a surcharge
Edwards was built and continues to be updated to meet the needs of Naperville, not every other town. Granted not every town needs a hospital, but surely Plainfield does. It is growing by leaps and bounds and may one day surpass Naperville. Funny that they have no problem having 4 high schools.

Most competent hospital boards have performance contracts for their key employees. If the board of Edward Hospital really wanted the new hospital built it should have had accomplishing that task as one of the key performance measures in Meyers's current contract. If a CEO fails to accomplish or complete key performance measures it usually does not bode well for their long term employment prospects in their existing position.

In business an effective CEO absolutely must find a way to accomplish the objective. In this case Meyer's did not get the job done. The course of action she choose will already cost Edward at least an additional $65 million in construction costs alone, possibly more depending upon the actual date they finally can stick a shovel in the ground. How much lost revenue has evaporated in the last 4 years while all of this drama has played out is unknown. How much future revenue has evaporated because of yesterdays decision is also unknown.

Bottom line, in business you have to understand the challenges and obstacles and find a way to overcome them. It is as simple as that. And if you can't or won't you will not be successful. I'm not saying it is right or even moral, but reality is that politics throughout Illinois has been corrupt for longer than most of us have been alive. There is nothing new about this statement. That fact is a well understood reality for any business in operation in Illinois. All businesses must find a way to work within the existing system or they will not meet their business objectives. A single person, a single business may have their 15 minutes of fame and send a couple of corrupt officials to jail, but they do not have enough clout to permanently change the existing system. After the media spotlight dims it is back to business as usual.

You can go it alone and try to fight the system and end up being morally right and have an outcome like what was announced yesterday or you can go along with the system and simply get things done, grow your business, and make a lot more money. I'm not saying paying off officials or bribing others is right but the absolute reality is that it is, has been, and will be happening until such time as huge political reform takes place. Right now the voters are not united in demanding change or reform. Until that happens nothing is going to change. Believe it.

Let's not forget that successful business people have always found ways to influence officials to get what they want. The overwhelming vast majority of government corruption has always flowed to corrupt officials from the hand of business. Business invented the game of corruption to use money to get what it wanted. Some times the flow of money being thrown around was legal like hiring a lobbyist, lawyers, consultants, or making a campaign contribution or even giving personal support of a candidate. Sometimes it includes wining and dining and other subtle forms of gifts and gaining influence and indebtedness. Sometimes it crosses the line and becomes illegal activity like bribes, kickbacks, hiring of relatives, inside deals, no bid contracts, etc. Business leaders just need to understand that by and large they have little sympathy among voters when they take the supposed high ground on government corruption since it is business people who created the very mess we find ourselves living in.

I wonder what Meyer's thinks today in hindsight? Her decision to take the high moral ground is hard to argue against. At the same time the decision to resist paying out a few thousand dollars here and there has got to be nagging at Meyer's because it has cost the hospital tens of millions of dollars already and will cost the hospital many more tens of millions in the years to come. Money that is gone forever and can never be recouped.

For years paying out money has been common practice in health care, especially with drug companies who have raised the bar on creative ways to bend, twist, and find loopholes with just about every existing law or restriction. Health care has always been flush with money and more than eager to throw some of it around to protect it's own interests. Meyer's has already spent a small fortune on lawyers and other consultants trying to fight the system. But were the decisions made the best use of hospital resources to achieve this outcome? Was it cost effective to proceed in that direction and end up with yesterday's decision? Was it prudent? Will Meyer's be judged as an effective CEO who used hospital resources wisely or will she be judged otherwise? Were the decisions Meyer's made really in the best interest of Edward Hospital? Did she remain a cool, calculating, objective CEO who was focused on achieving the business objective or did she let the fight get personal and did she make poor or emotional decisions?

Every organization exists to make money. That is what is all about. Money. Not principals or right or wrong. Organizations exist based upon their ability to make money, growl, and prosper. We will see soon enough what the hospital board thinks of the decisions Meyer's has made and whether the board agrees that those decisions were in the best financial interest of Edward Hospital and it's future.

I agree with the last 2 posters of 1014pm and 1033pm.

They articualted their thoughts very well.

I am glad they also agree that it is the EGO of CEO Pamela Meyer Davis that is the issue here.

I am sure her EGO is so large she will be pursing her 4th REJECTION soon.

As Anonymous said with so many hosptial closing down, we need to make sure our hospitals remain healthy.

CEO DAVIS appears not to care if Edward's in Naperville remains healthy. She does not seem concerned about doubling the OVERHEAD with little to no increase in patients by having 2 hosptials so close in proximity!

She is a DRAMA QUEEN! She wants to simply be able to say I am now the CEO officer of 2 large hospitals. Sorry, Ms. Davis but in attempting to inflate the balloon, you blew it! It busted! It is gone! Now try to live without that ballon head of yours for a while!

Let's not forget our Naperville history. Edward Hospital was orginally built around 1906 as a tuberculosis sanitarium. When the practice of hospitalizing tuberculosis patients ended along with a decrease in the number of patients the opportunity to change it's mission to a community hospital came about in the mid "50's when the city population was somewhere around 10,000 people. Then, like now, it served a wide radius. Most of it back then were rural areas that were not densely populated. Though Edwards has done a lot of construction to add additional beds and services as the rural areas slowly changed from farmland into various city neighborhoods.

A lot has changed in healthcare and the way it is delivered in the last 20 years. Edwards is both lucky and spoiled in that it just happens to be located in a relatively affluent city where there are a lot of patients who have health insurance. The financial picture for hospitals who serve people with less fortunate economic circumstances isn't quite as good. Edward's financial bottom line is very fortunate in that it does not have to give much of anything away in charity health care.

By comparison there are some Illinois counties that do not have a single hospital located anywhere within the county. There are other counties like Champaign County, for example, that have only 2 hospitals serving the entire county and both are located in Champaign-Urbana. If you live anywhere else in the county you have a much longer drive to reach a hospital than the drive from Plainfield to Naperville. Less than twenty years ago Champaign County was served by no less than 5 hospitals and today only 2 remain. To see the same effects on a larger scale look no further than the city of Chicago where at least 25 hospitals have closed in the same time period. The closed Chicago hospitals ranged in size from 37 beds to 330 beds with an average size of just under 160 beds.

The state is fully justified in having concerns about the operational viability of small hospitals, like what Edward's proposed to build. Let's not forget that Edward's is a non-profit hospital so they don't pay a dime in property or corporate taxes nor does the state collect any sales tax from anything other than some trivial things like food and gift shop items. Yet in fulfilling it's role the state spends a heck of a lot of taxpayer money and a lot of man hours inspecting and conducting other oversight reviews of every hospital in Illinois. When a hospital starts going on the ropes financially it takes even extra time and effort for the state to do what it can to intervene and try to ensure citizens receive care and help prevent the hospital from closing.

Making decisions on where to build a new hospital are truly complex as is understanding how the entire health care system works. Just looking at certain sub-sets of the health care system like community EMS systems and emergency/trauma care is a specialty onto it's own. It really is a lot more complex than arguing the travel time or distance from one point to another or the number of residents who live in any given city.

The role of the Planning Board is to truly look at the big picture, not selfish ego's and self-interest. Those who hoped and wished for a different outcome will be disappointed of course. But the Board really did do their job in looking at the big picture and for that we can be grateful.

I couldn't agree more that the ego of the Edward CEO is driving all of the drama around the Plainfield Hospital. She cannot take no for an answer and will manipulate the system in any way possible to get her way. Well, looks like the current board sees right through all of the drama and is applying the same rules everyone has to follow. I'm glad the corrupt officials were jailed. I do not believe for a moment though that the no-votes are related to the whistle blowing. Meyer Davis and her clan have been quite clear that they are fighting the states criteria. It may be that the criteria have to change but its only due to their project that the criteria must change. I never heard them challenging the criteria as a matter of principle before their project came forward.

I also find it arrogant to build the campus before the approval occurs. It does not appear too busy when I drive past the doctors offices thus far so perhaps the demand is not as high as Pamela says.

Edward is a fine community hospital but does appear to be growing a bit too quickly. It also appears to be mismanaged as evidenced by its recent layoffs. Perhaps the staff released were being hired in anticipation of the Plainfield campus similar to the land being acquired before its approved. What a shame that so many employees had to be fired at a hospital with such a good mix of insured patients. Perhaps Meyer Davis and her staff need to chill out and do some self reflection. The enemy may not be the state afterall but your own egos.

Ken,

When many towns bordering each other all have 30,000, one of them has to have a hospital. But they can't all have their own hospital!

Obviously, you are not very brilliant if you think Good Samaritan only serves Downers Grove. Does Lisle have a hospital? Does Woodrige have a hospital? Does Oak Brook have a hospital? Does Willowbrook have a hospital? Most smaller towns don't have their own hospital!

The Board unlike yourself and Mr. John Q. Public did intensive studies and listened to both sides before making these important decisions.

If you put a large hospital in every town with 30,000 people, you would have many hospitals going out of business.

I can see why the Napergatians thought you were a bit of a fool, Ken!

Your talk of past bribes has nothing to do with the current situation. The FBI locked all the culprits up as recently as months ago. It is unlikely anyone on the current board would dare to be on the take with the FBI just completing a massive investigation....unless they are fools like you!!!

I trust and believe this Board made the right decision. If you think you can do better, run for the Board instead of running your mouth!


------------------------------------------------------------------

PS. This board made the right decision. They knew they had a whistle blower facing them. She threw the previous board in jail. They would not dare mess with her! They rejected CEO Pamela Davis request because it was based on EGO and not NEED!

The former corrupt board would have given her a second hospital for a few bucks in their pocket and ignored the NEED element!

Thankfully the FBI and Attorney General cleaned house by jailing all the culprits invovled in the first Board decision.

Let us move on Ken and dwell on the present and not the past. You can not put the same people in jail again when they are already in jail serving long sentences....deservedly!

Mr. John Q. Public,

As you may have read since my initial blog on this thread and subject, a decision has been made and Edward's Hospital was rejected in Plainfield for the 3rd CONSECUTIVE time.

There was nothing so obvious as you stated in your blog.

If anything, the OBVIOUS, was opposite of what you predicted.

I would hold off a bit on your wild comments and speculations until you get better rooted in the community and develop a deeper understanding!

The Board is actually doing Edward's a favor by rejecting its request. It is keeping the Edward's Hospital, which of late has had to tighten up significantly, in better financial situation.

The new hospital would create many vacant beds at Edward's in Naperville. Most Plainfield residents use Edward's as opposed to hospitals in Bolingbrook, Joliet and Aurora.

The impact on Edward's of this new hospital would be substantial.

While CEO Pamela Davis is an intelligent and brilliant lady, she also appears to have an uncontrollable ego. I am glad the Board controlled her EGO by a 3-1 vote.

Hopefully, you can control your own ego, Mr. John Q. Public, as there is no one assigned on this forum to control your ego!!! Thankfully, Ms. Davis' EGO has been checked!

So, Another Anonymous, only towns of 150,000 or more can have a viable hospital? How do you explain Good Samaritan in Downers Grove, or Hinsdale Hospital surviving in towns about the same size as Plainfield? For that matter, how big was Naperville when Edwards first opened up?

I think Jonn Q.'s statement is right on target. A hospital built at the location Edwars wants would not only serve Plainfield; it would also serve a large portion of southern Naperville. An unwillingness to pay bribes years ago should not result in the continued denial to build a hospital now.

In this day and age strong regional medical centers survive. Look at how much CDH, Edwards, Rush-Copley, Good Sam, St Joe have all grown over the last 10-20 years.

Edwards simply picked the wrong location at the wrong time. The new Adventist Hospital in Bolingbrook is going to grow too and eventually will be providing more and more services, esp as areas south develop thanks to the new toll road extension. Free enterprise and good old fashioned competition. Adventist beat Edwards to the punch and got their hospital built. Do you think for one minute that if Edwards got approval to build their hospital on their site that they would not try to gobble up all of the patients and run the new Bollingbrook hospital out of business? And if they did do you think anyone at Edwards would give two cents to what they did to another hospital system? That is one of the reasons why the Planning Board exists. End of story for this area of this market at this point in time.

To figure out where a future Plainfield area regional hospital would need to be situated to get approval one only needs to look west... like in the area around Rt 47 and Caton Farm Rd. makes sense if you consider the coverage areas of all the existing hospitals. Truth is though it will be decadess before there is enough growth out there to justify the need for a new hospital.

Fact of the matter is none of us can live right next door to everything... not the school, not the church, not the supermarket, not the fire department, not the hospital. Every district has a boundary and the reality is if you live near the edge of any boundary you will always have more travel time and distance than those who live in the center of any given district. Not right, not wrong, just the way it is and probably always will be.

AA

Didn't Gov. Blagoivich and the Republican Governors appoint the previous board members?

Have all of the Board members been replaced or just the convicted ones?

And, aren't the same State Political machines that appear to agree on public corruption, as long as the proceeds are shared, still controlling the State Boards and the entire State Government?

Weren't Rezko the Democrat bag man and Levin the Republican bag man, working in tandem?

Did Rezko help Obama buy his new house’s side yard at a great deal? Oops, Mrs. Obama and Mrs. Rezko.

Is Blagoivich still the man in Springfield?

Is Ryan still maintaining Omert’a in Federal Prison? And, is the former Republican Governor Thompson’s firm still representing him for free?

Did Hastert enter congress with a net worth of $200K and leave with a net worth estimated at $10-20 Million?

Did one of the Federal witnesses in Rezko’s trial mention that a prominent IL Republican fund raiser told him that he could call Carl Rove and have the Federal Prosecutor fired and the Federal witnesses punished for cooperating?

Like the Teamsters, should the Federal Government de-certify and take control of the State Government of Illinois until the systemic-organized-criminal activity is removed?


Not every town can have a hospital. Plainfield has only a little over 30,000 residents.

Bolingbrook, Naperville, Joliet, and Aurora have hospitals and border Plainfield. Joliet and Bolingbrook are even closer to Plainfied than some parts of Naperville!

When Plainfield grows to 150k in population like Naperville, it will justify its own hospital. Most towns with populations of under 30k in Dupage don't have their own hospital. What makes Plainfield so special?

Built now, it would be pretty empty with patients having to pay many times the usury rates to keep the hospital floating.

I think our regulators must be given the benefit of the doubt.

Especially since the old regulators and their cronies are either awaiting trial or convicted. They are not going to pull a stunt when they are under the watchful eyes of the FEDS. What research has Mr. Public done? None!

He moved to the area a couple of years ago and he is suddenly professing expertise in topics he knows nothing about.

I suggest Mr. Public think and research before he opens his mouth, or the consequences will be aserious loss of credibility! Lately, he has been acting like he is an authority on all topics!

It is very hard to know what is going on if you have only been in the area a couple of years. I would learn to listen if I were Mr. Public instead of running my mouth daily, frequently and unnecessarily.

Mr. John Q. Public's statement that it is obvious Plainfield needs a hospital is immature and without substance or foundation!

Let the board decide! They have the facts and know better. Maybe they will award a hospital based on future need. But current need appears not to be enough.

Does Mr. Public realize that Edward's Hospital has had significant lay-offs? The lay-offs would have been disastrous if the Plainfield Hospital had been built 3-5 years ago.

Let us hope Mr. Public is not married to an Edward's nurse that would be laid off if a Plainfield Hospital is built prematurely!

Nothing is as black and white as you would like us to believe, Mr. Public.

Your statement,

"The need for a full service hospital in Plainfield is obvious."

needs to be withdrawn. Nothing of such a nature could be so OBVIOUS!

Be careful investing in the stock market, John! When you begin to believe things are so obvious, that is when you will lose your shirt off your back. Nothing is so obvious in this world!


Let's not forget that Edward has vehemently opposed other attempts to build additional local hospitals, unless it was Edward -- pretty strange for a "non-profit" -- so the blame cannot all be laid at the feet of the state board.


Who is the bagman for Springfield these day?

The need for a full service hospital in Plainfield is obvious. If the IHFPB cannot put its history with Pam Davis behind it for the good of the people of Plainfield, then its hard to imagine what good this organization could accomplish that justifies its continued existence.

It seems both the hospital and the city of Plainfield are anxious to get this facility so why hasn't it been approved yet? Well I don't really know but it seems likely that if kick back $$ were paid to Rezo and friends (you know who you are) years ago this project would probably be near completion. Why is the state still stalling? With all the scrutiny that the recent corruption has brought I have trouble believing that the state is still trying for bribes. Therefore it is probable that Illinois really believes that this hospital (as proposed) is unneeded. The original concept behind this planning board was to hold down hospital costs. They presumed that an underused facitlity would be a drain and therefore would cause patient rates to increase. This would be spread to the entire hospital organization and affect patients in other cities. Whether or not that thinking is correct is beyond me and Plainfield either needs this hospital or it will need it someday. I give both parties the benefit of the doubt.

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