Poshard announces Health Facilities
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[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
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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.
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.