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Statement From Illinois Hospital Association President & CEO Maryjane A. Wurth

 

Response to Governor Pat Quinn's Budget Address

NAPERVILLE, Ill., Feb. 22, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Illinois Hospital Association (IHA) is disappointed by the Governor's proposal to cut $2.7 billion from Illinois' Medicaid program.  This proposed cut, which is equal to 18 percent of total spending on Medicaid, will harm all Illinois residents. 

We are deeply concerned that if state leaders make rash decisions – like imposing drastic cuts or quickly moving large numbers of people into HMOs – it could have far-reaching consequences that hurt patients, communities and the health care system. The people of Illinois deserve a thoughtful, informed plan for a multi-year approach that protects patients and preserves health care jobs that the state desperately needs to hold onto.

Today, nearly one in three hospitals in every area of the state is losing money.  If cuts are made to Medicaid, many hospitals will be forced to reduce or eliminate key services or lay off staff, and some hospitals may close.  When health care services are eliminated due to Medicaid cuts, those services are gone for everyone, not just Medicaid patients.  Patients will be forced to travel further for care, and health care deserts will develop in the neediest areas of Illinois. 

IHA and the hospital community have solutions for redesigning Medicaid. They include:

  • Enhancing the Hospital Assessment Program that would provide an additional $40 million for the Medicaid Program.
  • Enhancing the current Primary Care Case Management program that already has saved the Medicaid program more than $400 million over the past four years.
  • Supporting provider-led models of care coordination to improve care, reduce readmissions and unnecessary utilization of services, and lower costs.

IHA looks forward to working with the Governor and General Assembly to transform Medicaid and the state's health care delivery system so all Illinoisans have access to the quality health care they need and deserve.

The Illinois Hospital Association, with offices in Naperville, Springfield, and Washington, D.C., represents 200 hospitals and health systems and the patients and communities they serve. For more information, see IHA's website, www.ihatoday.org. Like IHA on Facebook. Follow IHA on Twitter.

SOURCE Illinois Hospital Association

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