Cancer Treatment Centers of America, the five-hospital network of cancer specialty centers, said it is moving its headquarters to Florida from Schaumburg in part to take advantage of the Sunshine State’s more “favorable business climate.”
The closely held, for-profit chain will continue to have a corporate presence in the northwest suburbs and operate a hospital in far north suburban Zion. It will begin moving jobs to Boca Raton beginning in the second half of the year as part of the relocation, a spokeswoman said.
Cancer Treatment Centers, which recently broke off negotiations with Illinois economic development officials on a package of incentives tied to job retention, is slated to receive up to $2.375 million in Florida incentives tied in part to the company creating 225 new jobs in the state.
The majority of those workers will transfer from the current headquarters in Illinois, where the company was founded in 1988, said Pamela Browner White, a Cancer Treatment Centers spokeswoman.
Along with its hospital in Zion, Cancer Treatment Centers operates cancer specialty facilities in the Phoenix, Atlanta, Tulsa and Philadelphia metro areas.
Its decision to move to Florida was tied to “the quality of life offered to residents of Boca Raton and its proximity to three international airports,” according to a news release issued by Florida Gov. Rick Scott.
Illinois recently presented the company with a revised incentives package that included a combination of corporate tax credits and money for job training, said David Roeder, a spokesman for the state Commerce and Economic Opportunity Department.
“We do appear to be keeping a large measure of their office employees, so we’re glad for that,” said Roeder, who noted that the incentives offered by Illinois were contingent on the company maintaining 600 total positions. “But we’re disappointed with their decision.”
Roeder also noted that CTCA recently won regulator approval to build an additional patient tower at its 73-bed Zion hospital, a project that’s projected to cost some $84 million.
Cancer Treatment Centers was founded and is majority owned by Richard J. Stephenson and his family. Stephenson and a group of partners first bought Zion-Benton Hospital in 1975 and renamed it American International Hospital.
Thirteen years later, he founded CTCA, re-branding the hospital once more and changing its mission to provide treatment to patients with rare and hard-to-treat forms of cancer.
The company has come under public scrutiny a number of times over the following decades, including after a 2013 Reuters investigation that raised questions about how CTCA reported patient outcome statistics on its website.
According to the report, CTCA rejected certain patients and culled others from its statistics, which ultimately inflated its survival data.
Stephenson also was the subject of a December 2012 Washington Post story, which reported that he was using his millions to exert increasing control over Freedom Works, one of Washington’s most influential conservative grass-roots organization.
Another investigation by the magazine Modern Healthcare found that three of CTCA’s facilities were among the nation’s leaders in receiving certain payments from Medicare based on a hospital’s higher-retail prices instead of standard lower-rate Medicare payments.
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