Carle issues statement
Mike Billimack, vice president for marketing, planning and government relations at Carle, issued the following statement to The News-Gazette late Monday afternoon:
"Carle is focused on serving our patients and bringing high-quality healthcare to the region. Carle is a regional tertiary health care provider with physicians in more than 50 specialty areas. Due to the highly specialized care available at Carle, hospitals from around the region regularly transfer patients. As regional demand for Carle's healthcare services has increased, we need more beds in order to meet that demand.
"Carle strives to work with local hospitals, regional community hospitals, and critical access hospitals to keep care in local communities when possible. Even with these partnerships, Carle continues to see a long-term trend with increased demand for specialized care in trauma, stroke, neurosurgery, cardiovascular, perinatal and critical care. In fact, in 2013 more than 1,200 patients were transferred to Carle from area Presence Health facilities. As the clinical safety net provider for the region, Carle's request is about ensuring that beds are available for specialty care that isn't currently provided by other regional hospitals.
"The certificate of need application approved by the State in 2010 indicated that Carle would file a request to add more licensed beds in 2014. This request was anticipated four years ago and is needed even more today.
"Carle recently sent Presence leadership a letter inquiring about potential interest in their Danville hospital and/or their interest in developing a joint behavioral health facility in Champaign. Carle has made a long-term commitment to providing services in Danville and Vermilion County. Carle is always interested in supporting and growing the level of services available to Vermilion County residents and we will continue to explore ideas that benefit area residents.
"We recently completed a community health needs assessment in partnership with Presence Covenant and other local entities. As expected, the issue of behavioral health was identified as a critical need in this community. The idea of developing stronger behavioral health services is one the community would clearly welcome. As the regional clinical safety net hospital, we are always interested in exploring potential opportunities that would benefit the communities we serve.
"However, these inquires are completely separate from the CON request. Presence Covenant, as part of a larger health care system, has the some of the same opportunities that Carle has embraced such as expanding specialist recruitment and regional partnerships. Whether Presence can be successful with its chosen strategies is in its own hands. Carle's CON request is about ensuring that beds are available for specialty care that isn't currently provided by other regional hospitals, including the types of specialty care that Presence chooses not to offer."