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Blessing wins appeal in suit over QMG hospital ruling

Blessing wins appeal in suit over QMG hospital ruling

2 weeks, 1 day ago by Scott Hardy

Ruling sends case back to Sangamon County court

An Illinois Appeals court has sided with Blessing Health System in its' suit over the approval of an application by Quincy Medical Group to build a $61 million hospital at the Quincy Town Center. 

The Illinois 4th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday for Blessing in their suit against the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board, The Illinois Department of Public Health and Quincy Medical Group. Blessing filed suit in 2022, after the Review Board gave QMG its' approval to build a 27-bed hospital at the Town Center. Their initial suit in Sangamon County Circuit Court, asking for a review of the Review Board's decision, was rejected. That court denied Blessing's appeal, saying that their summonses for the hearing weren't issued within 35 days of the Review Board decision in early May 2022.

Blessing then appealed, saying that a service date was never established and that the 35-day summons period never started. Blessing said that meant that their summonses issued in mid June 2022, were timely. The Appeals Court agreed, and sent the case back to Sangamon County court. That court will now have to consider issues raised by Blessing in their suit. That includes Blessing's contention that the Review Board didn't uphold state law with its' decision to OK QMG's application. Blessing said that the Review Board is required by law to consider regional health care planning, and that the Review Board didn't do that. Blessing has said that the Review Board's decision will lead to the loss of Federal “Sole Community Hospital” status, because of how close QMG's hospital is to Blessing. That status allows Blessing to be financially subsidized for Medicare, Medicaid and charity care. Blessing says that makes up 75% of their patient base.

After the ruling, Blessing issued a short statement saying they "respect the court’s decision and will not comment further regarding ongoing litigation.” QMG said late Wednesday afternoon that "we stand firm in our commitment to our community, our belief in the QMG Hospital project, and its vital role in providing affordable healthcare, choice, and competition for everyone in the region. We are eager for the legal process to conclude, so we can begin providing this choice that our community has supported since we first proposed the project. We would also like to acknowledge this incredible support we've received from the community, as well as the unwavering dedication of our physicians. We will stay the course, and, together, we will make QMG Hospital a reality."

The full ruling is available below.

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