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MAY 2015


The Cost of Medicaid Cuts alt tag

Hospital groups are highlighting the economic consequences of Gov. Rauner's proposed $750 million reduction in reimbursements to providers and health systems for FY 2016. Individual hospitals and hospital associations say the Governor's proposal could bring job loss, hospital closuresand reduced economic productivity.

These cuts are intensified by a FY 2015 budget agreement between the Governor and state lawmakers that has decreased provider reimbursement rates.And by cuts to hospitals over the past five years which reduced both Medicaid and Medicare funding.

According to the Illinois Hospital Association, the cuts will affect Medicaid patients and thehealthcare workforce, which has been experiencing strong growth as a sector. The healthcare industry employs one in ten Illinoisans and brings a$83.4 billion boost to the economy. A new HFS report stated that within the healthcare field, 84,199 providers billed for Medicaid in FY 2014, an increase from FY 2013.

Hospital groups say the Medicaid cuts would stall these upward trends; 12,000 medical providers and hospital support staff could lose jobs. The number of providers billing for Medicaid could also slow in response to lowerreimbursement rates and the proposedelimination of care coordination fees.

Somehospitals, especially safety-net hospitals where more than 50% of patientsare on Medicaid,warn they mayclose their doors or reduce services. Hospitals serving fewer Medicaid patients claim they could also feel the pinch. For example, 22.7% of the patients receiving services at Saint Francis Hospital in Evanston are on Medicaid, which would result in cuts of $8 million for the hospital.

Illinois Health Matters will continue to monitor budget negotiations and their impact on the healthcare system, so stay tuned.


alt tag From our blog

The Future of Enrollment in Illinois:
Where We've Been and Where We're Going

When Get Covered America came to Illinois before the first open enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act in 2013, there was a lot of work to be done. At that time 78% of the uninsured had not heard of the health insurance marketplace and were unaware of the new health coverage options or opportunities for financial help available to them for the first time. The initial awareness gap was daunting, but hundreds of thousands of Illinoisans stood to benefit from the marketplace and needed to know how the Affordable Care Act could help them. Read more...

Special thanks to Enroll America for writing this guest blog post. Interested in sharing your opinions on transforming the healthcare systemwith Illinois Health Matters' wide audience? E-mail bmarable@hdadvocates.org for details.


In case you missed it

Gov. Rauner reinstates the $26 million in grants eliminated in early Aprilaslawmakers prepare for debate on the FY 2016 budget which must be approved by May 31.

Open enrollment has ended, but people who experience a qualifying life event can still get covered. Advocacy groups say that the special enrollment period represents atime for sustained outreach and enrollment efforts. Community organizations must tailor outreach totarget groups experiencing qualifying life events.

Illinoisans support reforms to the state mental health system while one ofChicago's largest mental service providers closes its doors. A downstate mental health provider warns that budget cuts would mean reductions inits level of services.



Recent resources

Thisguide outlines eligibility criteriafor public benefits programs in Illinois.
Qualifying for Food, Cash and Medical Assistance

This tip-sheet from the Make Medicare Work Coalition gives contact information for thestate agencies responsible foraddressing specific client concerns.
How to Advocate for your Client in aComplex Delivery System



Events

Find enrollment events in your area at the Get Covered Illinois Events page.

Find volunteer and community engagement opportunities at Get Covered America Events page.

Download a presentation and/or watch a recording from the EverThrive Illinois Webinar series.

Learn what the ACA means for a small business owner from the Small Business Majority's Thursday talks.



From our social media

On Twitter
@ILHealthMatters: People w/ #disabilities waiting to receive SSI in 209b states are vulnerable for gaps in coverage http://bit.ly/1GEgR2P

On Twitter
@ILHealthMatters: Why is prevention important? 80% of #healthcare spending is on chronic disease & many are preventable http://onforb.es/1Kktoa8

On Facebook
VICE News takes an immersive look at this issue by going inside the Cook County Jail and speaking with community members on Chicago's south side http://bit.ly/1EIR47j



For the latest on how the new health care law is impacting Illinois, follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube. You can also email us at info@illinoishealthmatters.org or send us your question here. If you have friends or colleagus interested in these issues, please feel free to forward the newsletter to them.

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