Suffredin- An Advocate for All of Us  

Forest Preserves
Public Safety
Cook County Budget
Forest Pres. Budget
Property Tax Appeal
Health & Hospitals
Land Bank Authority
Policy Resolutions
Unsung Heroine


  Office phone numbers:  

The Cook County Code of Ordinances are the current laws of Cook County.


Search current and proposed Cook County Legislation in Larry's exclusive legislative library.

  The Cook County Law Library is the second largest County law library in the nation.

Health chief: 'We are in crisis'

Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Daily Southtown
by Jonathan Lipman Staff writer

Cook County is $68 million behind projections in collecting patient fees from its three hospitals, and leaders there say a reason for that is they don't know who's doing the work.
While voting to open negotiations for yet another contract to improve patient billing, several commissioners said they thought the county has come to rely too much on consultants whose roles overlap with county staff.
"You need a scorecard to figure out who is collecting what, consolidating what," said Commissioner Mike Quigley (D-Chicago) in asking for a list of all hospital billing contracts. "We should try to avoid the duplicative nature of some of this."
The county has contracts with at least four companies to help improve its patient billing, which is seen as a key factor in a 2007 budget deficit that could reach $600 million.
The board voted 13 to 3 Tuesday to start contract negotiations with ACS Healthcare Solutions of Michigan for a complete overhaul of the health bureau's "revenue cycle."
The company will look at everything, starting with how doctors fill out charts and ending with where bills are sent, county finance chief Tom Glaser said. Newly installed interim health chief Linda Rae Murray urged commissioners not to delay.
"We are in crisis, we are sinking, and every week we delay we're losing millions of dollars," Murray said.
ACS could help the county bring in up to $125 million more per year in patient fees, Glaser said. The company would be paid about 18 percent of any increased revenue it earns for three years, though terms have not been finalized.
Board President Bobbie Steele said she agreed with Quigley, but knew this contract was needed.
"We don't know how many (contractors) are out there or what they're doing," Steele said in her last meeting as president. "But this is a new initiative. ... It was an in-house function that wasn't functioning well."
Steele said she'll ask the company to accept a shorter contract and an escape clause so the county can terminate the deal within 30 days if it wants.
Finance committee chairman John Daley (D-Chicago), in a rare rebuke to hospital staff, said the county health system's culture had to change.
"Our staff is supposed to be doing this," Daley said. "Everyone (working there) believes it's free. ... Doctors are supposed to fill a form out, they're not doing it, and for whatever reason, disciplinary action is not being taken against them."
The final meeting of the term stretched to almost five hours as commissioners said their goodbyes to the board's senior member, Carl Hansen, of Mount Prospect, and congratulated Steele on her four-month term as president.
After 32 years in office, Hansen was unseated in the spring primary. His successor, Tim Schneider, takes office Dec. 4.
Also taking over that day will be the new president, Todd Stroger. Schneider, Stroger and Chicago Ald. William Beavers, who will take over John Stroger's seat on the board as commissioner to the 4th District, sat in the audience Tuesday next to the attorney who represented all three of them, Burt Odelson.

Recent Headlines

Measles Exposure Reported in Chicago
Monday, May 20, 2019

News from the Cook County Health System
Friday, May 17, 2019
Special to

Cook County Health Recognizes Mental Health Awareness Month
Thursday, May 16, 2019
Daily Herald

Skokie plans for road improvements near Edens Expressway: 'It’s desperately needed'
Thursday, May 16, 2019
Skokie Review

5 Chicago hospitals earn D grades for patient safety in new report, Northwestern slips to a B
Wednesday, May 15, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Chicago Daily Law Bulletin: Backward Glances
Wednesday, May 15, 2019
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Cook County Eliminated Its Gang Database, But Advocates Say Harm Continues
Wednesday, May 15, 2019

New Cook County Housing Authority Proposal Targets the 'Missing Middle'
Wednesday, May 15, 2019
Evanston RoundTable

Census Citizenship Question Could Hurt Citizens, Noncitizens Alike
Wednesday, May 15, 2019
WBEZ Chicago Public Radio

News from Friends of the Forest Preserves
Tuesday, May 14, 2019
Special to

Cook County commissioners get earful about soon-to-be-destroyed gang database
Tuesday, May 14, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Detainee dies days after suicide attempt at Cook County jail
Tuesday, May 14, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Curious City How Chicago Women Created The World’s First Juvenile Justice System
Monday, May 13, 2019
WBEZ Chicago Public Radio

Cook County report: Sharp drop in jail population, but crime did not jump
Friday, May 10, 2019
Injustice Watch

Will Cook County be home to the next big measles outbreak? Researchers think so.
Friday, May 10, 2019
Chicago Tribune

May is Prime Time for Birding in the Forest Preserves of Cook County
Thursday, May 09, 2019
Special to

More Babies Are Illegally Abandoned Than Turned Over Through Illinois’ Safe Haven Law In Cook County
Thursday, May 09, 2019
CBS Chicago

Empty businesses may lose county tax incentives
Wednesday, May 08, 2019
Homewood-Flossmoor Chronicle

As new DCFS report highlights failures, Cook County guardian says 'inept' child welfare agency is ‘not doing its job ... at every level’
Tuesday, May 07, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Cook County passes bill to stop discrimination against tenant applicants
Tuesday, May 07, 2019
Chicago Crusader

all news items

Paid for by Larry Suffredin and not at taxpayer expense. A Haymarket Production.