CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago Lakeshore Hospital in Uptown has already been called a “hospital of horrors” by the Cook County Public Guardian.
On Tuesday, the federal government pulled its funding from the psychiatric hospital, at 4840 N. Marine Dr., amid allegations of physical and sexual abuse of children.
With the faucet of federal funds shut off at the hospital, what that means for the adults and children with psychiatric and substance issues who rely on it is murky at best.
As CBS 2’s Chris Tye reported Tuesday, the facility serves roughly 25 percent of the children who are wards of the state needing mental health care in Illinois.
That is according to a letter the then-head of the hospital wrote in an opinion piece to the Chicago Sun-Times in the fall of 2018, titled, “Lakeshore Hospital serving children well despite state cuts in mental health funding,”
Even today, the opinion piece it remains front and center on the hospital’s website.
But on the other side of the internet, another website tells a different story.
The website for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid formally announced their funding of the hospital “will be terminated” effective “December 23, 2019” – Monday.
The hospital was “not in compliance” with respect to “patients’ rights.” What remains unclear is what rights exactly the feds found fault with.
The announcement came just days after Cook County Public Guardian Charles Golbert filed a lawsuit claiming that inside this hospital building, staff – and in some cases, fellow patients – physically and sexually abused children in care at Lakeshore. Some of the children were as young as age 7, the lawsuit said.
The suit claims that “In 2017, 41% of the children treated by Chicago Lakeshore Hospital were in DCFS custody.”
The lawsuit said after news of trouble in the hospital last year, “DCFS was forced by outside groups to cease using Chicago Lakeshore Hospital. By that time, the irreversible emotional and physical damage had already been inflicted upon Plaintiffs.”
Lakeshore is owned by a privately run California hospital group. Thus, we don’t know how much of their total budget depended on the federal dollars that are going away.
Whether a loss of federal dollars may mean the end of the hospital is also unknown.
When a hospital representative was asked weeks ago about the allegations of sexual and physical abuse at the hands of staff and patients, the hospital called them “egregious distortions.”
We asked the hospital for a comment on the loss of these federal dollars, and on this Christmas Eve, its staff did not get back to us in time for CBS 2’s 6 p.m. broadcast.