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Photo: CCHHS

Chicago’s Cook County Health and Hospitals system has had a record of being known as a provider of last resort. Last month, they applied with state regulators to build an outpatient center with a modern design that would cater to a wide variety of patients.

Cook County Health is one of the largest hospital networks in the nation. The narrow corridors and outdated infrastructure, this 60-year-old outpatient facility is from a different era of medicine.

A proposed nine-story, 278,000-square-foot Central Campus Health Center would merge services and administrative offices that are spread out among Fantus and two other facilities. The plans include expanding dental services and offering a more up-to-date facility for cancer treatments. 

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Photo: CCHHS

Cook County Health disclosed more details about their outpatient overhaul in their application to the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board. The fate of the new facility will be determined when the board votes in September.

In the wake of Obamacare, Cook County Health is looking to expand its outpatient footprint. Fantus is part of a broader strategic shift to help bring medical services closer to where people live. Insurers are paying hospitals to focus on preventive care and treat patients in the least expensive place. That’s often in a doctor’s office or at an outpatient clinic. Another part of the plan is to strengthen up nursing home care for Medicare patients to prevent elderly patients from ending back up the hospital too quickly after being released.

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