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State review board approves Harrisburg Medical Center change of ownership

  • FILE PHOTOThe entrance of Harrisburg Medical Center.

    FILE PHOTOThe entrance of Harrisburg Medical Center.

By Travis DeNeal
updated: 7/30/2021 8:33 PM

HARRISBURG -- An Illinois review board on Friday approved a change of ownership for Harrisburg Medical Center.

According to a Friday news release from Southern Illinois Healthcare and HMC, the Illinois Health Facilities Services and Review Board approved a certificate of exemption for an ownership change allowing HMC to join the SIH family. The transaction will be effective Sunday, Aug. 1.

"We are grateful for the Illinois Health Facilities Services and Review Board's decision, which paves the

way for SIH and HMC to join together," said SIH President and CEO Rex Budde. "As a result of this

affiliation, local residents will be provided with increased access to care, including an expansion of

critically-needed mental health services, and an increase in quality and outcomes of care through

enhanced facilities and technology."

Don Hutson, HMC's chief executive officer, agreed, and said he and looks forward to new

opportunities for aligned care and enhanced clinical standards.

"It is important to note we expect this relationship to result in increased educational opportunities for

health occupations, which will both benefit the local workforce and increase the availability of

health care workers in southeastern Illinois," Hutson said.

According to the news release, the transaction also creates numerous opportunities for cost savings for HMC. For example, HMC's information technology and software, including its electronic medical records system, will be moved to SIH's platform, leading to increased efficiencies, an improved revenue cycle and lower costs.

"Becoming part of a larger health system will reduce Harrisburg Medical Center's costs through

economies of scale and reduction of overhead, as well as the ability to access more competitive pricing

for supplies, drugs and other services," Hutson said.

SIH has been clinically affiliated with Harrisburg Medical Center since 2012, partnering on telemedicine,

physician recruitment and outreach.

"Overall, with improved medical collaboration and systematizing of best practice protocols, we'll work

together to improve quality of care, patient safety and patient satisfaction," SIH Board Chair Dr.

Robert Mees said.

Dennis Murphy, chairman of the Harrisburg Medical Center board of directors, concurred.

"The commitments made by SIH will help ensure the longevity of HMC as well as create enhancements

across several lines of medical services, technology, infrastructure and career paths for employees. The

affiliation, directly and indirectly, will be a huge economic boost to our region. It's truly a win-win-win for HMC, SIH and the people who live and work in our service areas," Murphy said.