CHICAGO

Sacred Heart Hospital Closes Abruptly Amid Charges Of Kickback Schemes At West Side Facility

07/02/2013 11:36 am ET | Updated Jul 02, 2013

Sacred Heart Hospital on Chicago's West Side, which in recent months had been investigated for fraud and various kickback schemes, abruptly shut its doors Monday afternoon.

“We got a call this afternoon from the hospital saying that they’d be closing today, so we sent someone there to assess the situation and see what patients were there, if they needed to be discharged or needed to be transferred,” Department of Public Health spokeswoman Melaney Arnold told the Chicago Sun-Times.

Sacred Heart patients were discharged or transferred as employees packed up their personal belongings Monday. Neighbors near the 3240 W. Franklin Blvd. hospital in the Garfield Park neighborhood lamented the closure to the Tribune.

"There's some sense of security because it's always all lit up," neighbor Shirley O'Neal told the paper. "Now it's gonna be deserted. I sure hate that."

The hospital, which NBC Chicago reports has served West Side patients since the '20s, came under scrutiny in April after its owner and several executives were arrested for allegedly pocketing kickbacks from patient referrals among other fraud charges.

Hospitals must notify the DPH 90 days before shutting down, and it remains unclear if Sacred Heart will face penalties due to their abrupt closure.

Last month, the Roseland Community Hospital on the South Side averted closure after a state emergency bailout. Gov. Pat Quinn, who approved the bailout, had criticized the embattled facility for poor leadership and financial mismanagement.

Earlier on NBC Chicago:

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