Janesville-based Mercyhealth has the green light to build a new “microhospital” in the suburban Chicago community of Crystal Lake, Illinois, the company announced Wednesday.

Janesville-based Mercyhealth announced in a release that it has approval of a certificate of need from the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board for a new, 13-bed inpatient hospital in Crystal Lake.

Approval came Wednesday out of a hearing in Bolingbrook, Illinois. About 100 people spoke in support of the hospital project at the hearing, including about 35 community members from Crystal Lake and surrounding areas, according to the release.

Under a plan Mercyhealth announced in January, the new hospital would be done under the “redistribution” of 13 licensed inpatient beds from an existing, 18-bed hospital it runs in Harvard, Illinois.

The doors could open in 2020 if Illinois regulators approve it, according to Mercy’s original plan. The cost of the project was not released.

The new facility would be a microhospital and clinic with a 24-hour emergency room. It would better serve its patient population in McHenry County, Illinois, with “more immediate and acute and emergency care,” Mercyhealth said in an earlier release.

The new hospital continues a trend of expansion by Mercyhealth into Illinois. It comes during ongoing construction of a major new hospital Mercyhealth is building in Rockford, Illinois, through a partnership with Rockford Health System.

Mercyhealth CEO Javon Bea said in an earlier statement that beds being migrated from the Harvard hospital are no longer being used at Harvard.

Those beds go unused because that hospital has migrated care of some patients to outpatient facilities elsewhere.

The proposal wouldn’t impact current operations in Harvard, Bea said earlier. It instead would redistribute to the planned Crystal Lake hospital a number of licensed beds that are now going unused in Harvard. That would align Mercyhealth with a growing number of patients in McHenry County needing emergency service, Medicaid service, and “charity” or elderly population services, Mercyhealth said earlier.

Microhospitals are an emerging health care trend. They’re typically built in geographic areas where hospitals and providers are seeing rapid growth in numbers of patients.

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