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The Latest: Senate anticipates quick action on Medicaid plan

February 27, 2018

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Latest on legislative action on the Medicaid program for hospitals (all times local):

5:10 p.m.

An Illinois Senate committee has discussed the Medicaid funding formula in preparation for a quick floor vote as early as Wednesday.

The Senate Human Services Committee reviewed the hospital assessment formula Tuesday after a House committee approved it.

Lawmakers have been negotiating with the Illinois Health and Hospital Association for nearly a year to update the funding plan in compliance with federal mandates.

Hospital association CEO A.J. Wilhelmi (will’-HEL’-mee) says the plan is essential for hospitals in low-income areas that serve primarily Medicaid patients. He says the modernized plan will use updated patient data and make some funding dependent on reimbursements from low-cost managed care organizations.

Democratic Sen. Heather Steans of Chicago is sponsoring the legislation. She says Senate action could quickly follow a House floor vote Wednesday.


11:05 a.m.

An Illinois House committee has endorsed a revised hospital assessment program which distributes billions of dollars in Medicaid funding.

The House Appropriations-Human Services Committee voted 14-0 Tuesday on a revised formula. The formula accounts for federal requirements that more Medicaid patients be covered by cost-saving managed care operations.

Chicago Democratic Rep. Greg Harris is the committee chairman. He responded to hospitals’ concerns about managed care reimbursements by adding increased oversight of the privately run organizations.

Ann Igoe (AY’-goh) is vice president of hospitals and health systems for the SEIU Healthcare union. She says the legislation gives additional funds to the state’s neediest hospitals.

But two hospitals in South Side Chicago are still set to close under the modernized assessment. The committee says it is still working to prevent closure.


4:40 a.m.

Illinois lawmakers made the final tweaks to a health care program responsible for bringing in billions of federal dollars to the state’s hospitals.

The House Appropriations-Human Services Committee is expected to vote Tuesday on a finalized hospital assessment program. The state is updating how it allocates Medicaid funding to hospitals in response to federal pressures.

Democratic Rep. Greg Harris of Chicago is the chairman of the committee. He says the program will bring $3.5 billion in federal funds into Illinois’ health care system. The proposal updates patient data and rolls some payments into the managed care system.

Two Chicago-based hospitals in impoverished neighborhoods say they will be forced to close under the new program. Harris says he will continue to work with the facilities to address their concerns.

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