Medicaid

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner has signed a Medicaid funding plan that changes the way hospitals are reimbursed for treating low-income patients.

Illinois hospitals are one step closer to saving a program that generates a lot of money used to treat low-income patients.

The Illinois Senate has OK'd a revised Medicaid funding plan for hospitals. 

An Illinois House committee has delayed voting on plans to change how hospitals receive Medicaid dollars as two Chicago hospitals say a revised formula could force them to close. 

  CHICAGO (AP) - Illinois lawmakers and the state's hospitals have reached a tentative agreement on a new method of spreading billions of dollars in federal Medicaid money to hospitals across the state.

 

But some of Illinois' 22 so-called "safety net" hospitals that serve a high volume of Medicaid patients could lose money under the new program. That's prompting concerns hospitals may have to cut services, lay off staff or even close.

 

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner says lawmakers need to approve a supplemental spending bill to ensure the Department of Corrections can get through the rest of the fiscal year.

Democrats in Springfield are pushing ahead with a plan hospitals say can’t come soon enough. It’s worth billions of dollars for treating some of the state’s most vulnerable people.

It’s called the Hospital Assessment Program, and it’s how the state pulls in billions of dollars in federal money to treat elderly, poor and disabled patients on the Medicaid program.

The two political parties have been negotiating in private for months, and now Democrats are pushing the debate out into the open.

Time For Medicaid Recipients To Choose A Managed Care Plan

Feb 5, 2018
Christine Herman / Illinois Public Media

  In an effort to save money and improve the quality of care, Illinois recently cut the number of private insurers that offer coverage through the Medicaid managed care program from 12 to seven.

The change affects more than 500,000 Illinois residents insured through Medicaid - the joint state-federal program that provides coverage for low-income, elderly and disabled people.

Now is the time to enroll in a new plan that will take effect on April 1, says Claudia Lennhoff with the Champaign County Health Care Consumers.

Advocates for the poor in Illinois are pushing state lawmakers and the Rauner administration to act quickly on a program that funds hospital care.

Safety Net Hospitals provide care for thousands of people who rely on Medicaid. Through the state's assessment program, hospitals in Illinois are taxed – and then that money is used to access federal matching funds.

State Representative Natalie Phelps Finnie points to Hardin County Hospital in her deep southern Illinois district. She says a loss of funding for that facility would be devastating on multiple levels.

Peoria Public Radio

An audit issued today shows Illinois government could not properly account for more than seven billion dollars paid to private medical insurance companies.

It comes as Governor Bruce Rauner's administration is planning to expand the program.

Medicaid is Illinois' health care program for the elderly, poor and disabled. And the Rauner administration wants more of it run by private insurance.

But Democratic Rep. Fred Crespo, from Hoffman Estates, says these Managed Care Organizations, or MCOs, are squeezing patients.

Lawsuit: State Withheld Medical Services to Children

Jan 18, 2018

A lawsuit against Illinois’ Department of Healthcare and Family Services claims the state illegally withholds medically necessary services from children with severe mental health disorders. The case was settled in federal court this week.

Hospitals in Illinois are warning of dire federal funding cuts without quick action from the state legislature.

Time is running out for the “hospital assessment program,” which provides money to treat low-income patients on Medicaid.

Danny Chun is spokesman for the Illinois Hospital Association.

"This is a 3 and a half billion dollar program. The state can’t do without 3 and a half billion dollars in Medicaid funding."

Hundreds of thousands of low-income Illinois residents moved into managed care health plans on Jan. 1.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Conservative activists and legislators pressing a lawsuit against publicly funded abortions in Illinois are seeking an emergency injunction to prevent the law from taking effect Monday. 

Seth Perlman / AP Photo

State legislators are raising questions about changes to healthcare for some of Illinois’ neediest people. But at a hearing Mon., state officials had no answers.

Lawmakers question whether reimbursement rates in an expanded managed care health plan will be sufficient to keep insurers providing service.

A Democratic lawmaker has filed petitions to challenge longtime Secretary of State Jesse White in the Illinois primary. 

More than a dozen groups and lawmakers who oppose abortion have filed a lawsuit challenging a new law providing taxpayer-funded abortions.

Rogelio V. Solis / AP Photo

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Illinois' Medicaid patients will see a change in health care coverage Jan. 1. 

WILL

During its two-year state budget crisis, Illinois racked up more than $3 billion in debt to providers who serve the state’s most vulnerable patients - and it could be months, even years, before it’s all paid off. As Christine Herman reports, some doctors in private practice are being pushed to the brink as they wait.

 

 

"<door knock> How are you doing? Good, how are you? Good."

Sarah Scott / Peoria Public Radio

Having a state budget after a historic, two-year political gridlock is of little comfort to K-12 school districts, healthcare and human service providers. 

Senator Durbin Discusses Healthcare

Jul 6, 2017

US Senator Dick Durbin wants to see the United States eventually implement a “Medicare for all” type health care program.

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner is urging Democrats to return to Springfield and pass a budget following a federal court ruling requiring the state to pay more toward Medicaid.

Tim Evanson / Flickr/Creative Commons

 

A federal judge on Wednesday agreed that Medicaid service-providers must be paid faster despite the ongoing budget impasse. 

But Judge Joan Lefkow declined to say how the state should go about making those payments, instead urging attorneys for Medicaid patients to continue negotiations with state comptroller Susana Mendoza. 

 

Medicaid Decision Looms

Jun 6, 2017

A federal judge could decide soon whether the state of Illinois should pay Medicaid providers faster during the budget impasse.

Cass Herrington / Peoria Public Radio

Democratic gubernatorial candidate and billionaire businessman JB Pritzker campaigned in Peoria Fri. to distinguish himself from another wealthy Illinoisan -- Gov. Bruce Rauner.

William Johnson / Creative Commons

 

A federal judge appeared conflicted over whether the Illinois state government should prioritize Medicaid payments — possibly at the expense of schools, pensions and payroll payments — during the ongoing budget impasse.

Two years ago, Judge Joan Lefkow ordered the state must pay Medicaid providers even though it is operating without a budget. The state is now virtually out of money — its backlog of bills has grown beyond $14.2 billion — and Medicaid service providers said the state isn’t paying them fast enough. 

 

Illinois 6 Months Late Paying Medicaid Providers

May 19, 2017

Two dozen doctors and health care organizations are taking the state of Illinois to court for not paying Medicaid providers fast enough.  And in a new court filing, the state argues it’s out of money.  A federal judge has ruled Illinois HAS to pay for Medicaid even if there’s no state budget.  

Flickr Creative Commons/Larissa Puro

The Illinois Senate has approved a measure intended to protect abortion rights … and expand access to the procedure.

The legislation would allow for coverage of abortion under state health plans to include government employees and women on Medicaid.
Senator Toi Hutchinson, a Democrat from Chicago Heights, made what she called an “economic argument” for the legislation.

Reg Natarajan / Flickr

Governor Bruce Rauner is broadening the role of private companies in Illinois’ Medicaid program. But Democrats say he’s using the state’s lack of a budget to avoid transparency. Medicaid is one of the largest pieces of the state’s budget, and Democrats say the governor is trying to significantly alter the way the program is managed.

 

Senator Martin Sandoval, from Chicago, says Rauner is also bypassing normal review channels.

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