Medicaid cuts

Medicaid Changes May Mean Cuts For Some Illinois Hospitals

Feb 12, 2018
"Blake Wilbur Building - Stanford Hospital & Clinics" by Flickr User Jennifer Morrow / (CC X 2.0)

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 distributes $3.6 billion through an assessment on hospitals matched by federal money to cover Medicaid costs.

Illinois will soon be scrutinizing the list of people on Medicaid to make sure they still qualify. But the eligibility checks won't begin until next year. That's led Republicans to say the Quinn administration is moving too slowly.

Republican lawmakers have criticized parts of Gov. Pat Quinn's plan to close a $2.7 billion gap in Illinois' Medicaid program, which includes a $1 per pack increase in Illinois’ cigarette tax. 

And doctors say Quinn's proposed cuts to reimbursement rates for medical services would be devastating.  Laura Shea, president of the Sangamon County Medical Society, says doctors already get less money from the state for treating public aid patients than they do for patients with private insurance.