Updated: Hospice provider wants to expand into central Illinois
CHAMPAIGN — A Huntley-based hospice provider plans to expand into Central Illinois and hire former employees of the former Passages Hospice.
Passages closed late last month, after its co-owner, Seth Gillman, was charged with federal health care fraud.
Huntley-based Transitions Hospice, which serves hospice patients in 15 northern Illinois counties, had been looking to expand into the Central Illinois area for about a year and sees an opportunity to hire Passages' former staff, said Transitions' Vice President of Business Development Tim Scully.
Passages had an "award-winning" staff that wasn't part of the business actions that led to the closing of that company, Scully said.
"They had the rug pulled out from under them," Scully said.
Dozens of those employees approached him about how the closing has affected them, he said. They were left without paychecks and health insurance, and their patients were forced to make immediate hospice care provider changes.
Scully said the company met Monday to discuss possible plans for Central Illinois and will begin interviewing former Passages employees in Bloomington Monday.
If the necessary licenses can be obtained from the state, he said, the company hopes to begin serving the Central Illinois area in about 30 days.
Transitions is discussing forming two "pods" of about two dozen employees each in Bloomington-Peoria and Champaign-Danville, and would open a field office downstate, he said.
Transitions will hire nurses, certified nursing assistants, marketing and office staff, Scully said. Former Passages employees have first priority for jobs, but other candidates could also be considered, he said.
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