Blessing wins appeal in QMG hospital case, which now heads back to Sangamon County

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Quincy Medical Group plans to put a hospital at the Quincy Town Center, but Blessing Health has contested the plan. — Submitted design

SPRINGFIELD — The Illinois 4th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday for Blessing Hospital in its suit against the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board, The Illinois Department of Public Health and Quincy Medical Group.

Blessing filed the suit in 2022 after the Review Board gave approval for QMG to build a 27-bed hospital at the Quincy Town Center. The initial suit in Sangamon County Circuit Court, asking for a review of the Review Board’s decision, was rejected, with that court denying Blessing’s appeal, saying the summons wasn’t issued in a timely manner — within 35 days of the Review Board decision in May 2022.

Blessing then appealed that ruling, saying 35-day service date window was never established and the summons period never began, which made their appeal in June 2022 timely. The Appeals Court agreed, and sent the case back to Sangamon County, who will now have to consider issues raised by Blessing in their suit.

Blessing’s contention was the Review Board didn’t uphold state law with its decision to grant QMG’s application as the Review Board is required by law to consider regional health care planning, which Blessing claims it did not do. Blessing has repeatedly said the Review Board’s decision will lead to the loss of federal “Sole Community Hospital” status and cost Blessing federal subsidy funding, which accounts for about 75 percent of its patient population.

Blessing Health System provided the following statement: “Blessing respects the court’s decision and will not comment further regarding ongoing litigation.”

QMG issued the following statement: “We stand firm in our commitment to our community, our belief in the QMG Hospital project, and its vital role in providing affordable healthcare, choice and competition for everyone in the region. We are eager for the legal process to conclude, so we can begin providing this choice that our community has supported since we first proposed the project.

“We would also like to acknowledge this incredible support we’ve received from the community, as well as the unwavering dedication of our physicians. We will stay the course and, together, we will make QMG Hospital a reality.”

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