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Holy Cross Hospital to cut 34-bed, inpatient rehab unit

Holy Cross Hospital, on the city's Southwest Side, plans to cut a 34-bed, inpatient rehabilitation unit because of less demand for those services.

Holy Cross filed an application with the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board this week to discontinue inpatient, comprehensive physical rehabilitation services. Such services are typically used by patients following acute injuries, such as strokes.

The hospital said in its application it has seen rehabilitation admissions fall by 34 percent since 2013 as more patients have sought care in community, home-based and specialty rehabilitation hospital settings.

Paul Berrini, vice president of strategy for Sinai Health System, said the change isn't intended as a cost-saving measure. Inpatient rehabilitation services could end at the hospital by Nov. 1 or sooner, depending on when the state approves the change, he said.

"The primary driver was what does our community need," Berrini said. The space now being used by the unit may be used for expansion of other services in the future, though the system has not yet decided on specifics, said spokeswoman Roberta Rakove.

Patients in need of inpatient rehabilitation services will be sent instead to the system's Schwab Rehabilitation Hospital, less than 7 miles north. Rakove said most of the staff on the hospital's inpatient rehab unit have found jobs elsewhere in the system.

Holy Cross Hospital will still have more than 260 beds even after the inpatient rehab unit is eliminated.

The plans follow news earlier this summer that the system's Mount Sinai Hospital is stopping pediatric trauma and pediatric inpatient care, also because of weak demand.

Berrini said no more cuts to services within the system are planned at the moment.

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