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Poshard announces Health Facilities Board meetings     Send a link to a friend

[SEPT. 28, 2004]  SPRINGFIELD -- On Monday the newly appointed chairman of the Health Facilities Planning Board, Glenn Poshard, announced a series of board meetings designed to eliminate a backlog of health care facility projects held up because of a federal investigation into potential conflicts of interests involving former board members.

"Hospitals and other health care providers have a right to expect timely reviews from this board, and I plan to expedite deliberations on applications that have been pending," said Poshard, a former congressman. "My charge is to get things moving, and I intend to do that."

Besides Poshard, Gov. Rod Blagojevich last week appointed Pamela Woodward of Palos Park and Susana Lopatka of Chicago to the reconfigured board. The governor still has two other board appointments to fill, but the three members in place constitute a quorum.

Poshard said the new board will begin with a special two-day orientation meeting at 9 a.m. Tuesday in Room C-500 in the Michael Bilandic Building, 160 N. LaSalle St. in Chicago, to educate members on their duties and responsibilities for the review of facility certificate-of-need applications.

The orientation meeting will be followed, Poshard said, by a two-day Chicago board meeting Oct. 20 and 21, which had originally been set for a single day, and a special meeting in early November, with the date not yet set. There are about 60 applications, alterations and renewals awaiting board action.

 

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In addition, Poshard is in the process of reviewing nearly two dozen certificate-of-exemption applications, which have to do with change of ownership requests for nursing homes and surgery centers and do not require full board approval.

The Health Facilities Planning Act, which contains the provisions for the board, was created to restrain rising health care costs by preventing the unnecessary construction and duplication of health care facilities and to assure access to quality facilities and services. The board issues permits for construction or modification projects exceeding $6.7 million proposed by or on behalf of health care facilities and approves transactions for the purchase of major medical equipment worth more than $6.4 million.

The governor declared a moratorium on all activities of the board in July in response to a federal investigation and extortion allegations linked to the panel. Under legislation signed by Blagojevich in August, the old nine-member board was scrapped and a reconstituted five-member panel put in its place.

[News release]

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