The merger of Resurrection Health Care and Provena Health created the second largest health care system in the Chicago area — but the owner of St. Francis Hospital in Evanston is still facing competitive challenges.

Crain’s Chicago Business notes that two much larger national Catholic health care networks have moved into the Chicago market — bringing with them stronger balance sheets and lower operating costs.

And all the Catholic hospital groups, Crain’s says face an additional challenge — their core customer base is shrinking as fewer patients seek care in a religious setting.

Original story

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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