HealthLeaders-InterStudy, a leading provider of managed care industry intelligence, reports that the Chicago healthcare market is in the process of shifting resources to make high-demand services more readily available in smaller, suburban hospitals. According to the latest Chicago Market Overview, there is currently more than $2 billion in new hospital construction and renovation under way across the 14-county Chicago area.

"Emergency departments, cancer care, cardiac care and women's health facilities are being expanded and renovated to enable suburban hospitals to provide high-demand services like cardiac catheterizations and open-heart surgery," said Margaret Dick, HealthLeaders-InterStudy senior analyst. "As this market matures, look for these expansions to pull business from the downtown hospitals."

After several years of acquisitions and mergers, local hospital systems are in the midst of integrating healthcare facilities and services to produce operational efficiencies and organic market growth. Among the examples: the conversion of Holy Family Medical Center to a long-term acute-care facility, the closure of Ravenswood Medical Center and the reintroduction of the heart transplant program at Northwestern Memorial.

This activity is not expected to fundamentally change this market, where traditionally healthcare delivery has been neighborhood-based, even in the sprawling suburbs. By enhancing services in high-revenue areas, hospitals will count on a strong bottom line, enabling them to make additional investments in capital projects and technology to successfully compete in this marketplace.

  Other news in Chicago healthcare market:   * UnitedHealthcare is piloting Practice Rewards, a pay-for-performance     initiative for physicians in the insurer's local network who will     receive a 5 percent increase in reimbursements when certain quality     standards are met.   * According to a recent survey, local employers are growing more receptive     to consumer-driven health plans, with 23 percent of the 300 companies     surveyed already offering CDHPs and another 29 percent considering them.   * All Kids, a government program designed to insure children under age 18     who do not have medical insurance coverage, became effective in July     2006.  An estimated 20 percent of the 250,000 uninsured children in the     state having already joined the program.    About Market Overviews 

Market Overviews provide a detailed analysis of local healthcare markets, allowing healthcare businesses to plan their local strategies.

About HealthLeaders-InterStudy

HealthLeaders-InterStudy is the authoritative source for managed care data, analysis, and news. For more information, please visit http://www.healthleaders-interstudy.com/.

  For more information, contact:   Kelly Morphy   HealthLeaders-InterStudy   615-369-4818   kmorphy@healthleaders-interstudy.com 

SOURCE: HealthLeaders-InterStudy

CONTACT: Kelly Morphy of HealthLeaders-InterStudy, +1-615-369-4818,
kmorphy@healthleaders-interstudy.com

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