- Associated Press - Saturday, August 15, 2015

ROCKFORD, Ill. (AP) - A northern Illinois health system plans to build a new 188-bed hospital in Rockford and is in the process of submitting paperwork on its proposal to a review board.

Rockford-based MercyRockford Health System announced this week it wants to build a $400 million facility near an Interstate 90 exit. Officials say the hospital would serve northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin.

Health system spokeswoman Kristina DeCoster says an application will be filed Monday with the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board. Approval would allow construction to begin late next year.

Under the plan, the existing Rockford Memorial Hospital would still offer care, including an emergency department. However, it would have fewer state-licensed hospital beds than it does now.

The plan calls for eliminating 109 state-licensed beds between the two campuses.

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