An Austin man has died from complications related to COVID-19, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office. Timothy Loving, 59, of Austin, was pronounced dead at 6:07 a.m. on March 17, at West Suburban Medical Center, 3 Erie St. in Oak Park.
In a report released March 21, the medical examiner ruled that Loving died from respiratory failure related to COVID-19. Loving also had underlying medical issues, such as diabetes and chronic substance abuse.
Loving’s death happened a few weeks after West Suburban’s parent company, Pipeline Health, decided to trim the workforce at the Oak Park hospital and another hospital it owns — Weiss Memorial Hospital in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood — according to previous Wednesday Journal reporting.
“The reductions were necessitated by the state of Illinois being months behind in paying Medicaid funding owed to hospitals,” Natalie Bauer Luce, West Suburban’s public relations representative, said in a statement last week.
Luce said the state owes the hospitals $15 million in Medicaid funds.
“The failure to pay hospitals serving large numbers of Medicaid patients has severely strained the hospitals, frankly, at exactly the time hospitals need the state’s support and funding the most,” she said, adding that the company doesn’t believe the costs will affect the hospitals’ ability to treat patients and is still looking to hire more nurses.