Suffredin- For a Better Cook County  
 

Accountability
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.

   
  Cook County is the second most populous county in the nation. It is the 19th largest government in the U.S.
   
     
     
     



Board moves to limit health care to residents

Thursday, March 22, 2007
Daily Southtown
by Jonathan Lipman and Gregg Blesch

Cook County's neighboring counties have until Dec. 1 to work out a deal with Cook or their patients will be turned away from Stroger Hospital and the county's other health facilities, under a proposal expected to be approved soon.
The resolution passed unanimously Wednesday out of the Cook County Board's legislative committee, but it's "not a declaration of war on these other counties" and does not apply to patients needing emergency care, committee chairman Larry Suffredin (D-Evanston) said.
But it does put a deadline on dealing with a problem Cook County leaders long have complained about -- the roughly $100 million a year in patient care that Stroger Hospital and other county medical facilities provide to patients from outside the county.
"That's fine, as good people we, want to see everybody healthy," said Commissioner Peter Silvestri (R-Elmwood Park), the sponsor of the proposal. "But the people of Cook County should not be footing the bill."
The full board is expected to approve the resolution April 3. It will require Cook County's health bureau to present agreements with surrounding counties to the county board by Sept. 1, and they must be approved and in place by Dec. 1, the start of the county's fiscal year.
Other counties "are not running away from this," Suffredin said. "They realize they owe Cook County a debt of gratitude and maybe some money."
Suffredin said it was too early to predict what level of funding other counties might offer, but he thought the amounts would be more than symbolic. The agreements may include benefits besides cash, such as administrative help in qualifying patients for Medicaid.
Will County Executive Larry Walsh was in Springfield on Wednesday and could not be reached for comment on Cook County's plan. His chief of staff, Matt Ryan, did not return messages.
Vic Reato, spokesman for the Will County Health Department, said he wasn't familiar with Cook County's resolution or how Will County might respond to it.
"There was talk here that there was going to be a Will County committee formed to explore this issue," Reato said. "Apparently that never happened. I think we have referred some patients (to Cook) in the past, but as I recall not a large number at all."
Those referrals are not intended to shift the financial burden to Cook County but to make sure that patients get the best possible care, he said.
"Cook County has more resources in terms of expertise," Reato said.
Failure to bill Medicaid and other hospital billing problems were a major factor in Cook County's recent $500 million budget crisis that led to the layoffs of about 1,700 employees.
At Tuesday's county board meeting, officials said they had found 77 boxes full of more than $200 million worth of patient bills that never were sent out.
The county's increasing caseload of indigent patients has been made worse by other counties' public health departments, who send their patients to Cook County for specialty care they can't provide, Suffredin said.
"The health departments of these various counties have actually given people Metra tickets and maps on how to find the Stroger (Hospital) emergency room," he said. "Those patients when they arrive, arrive with a diagnosis."
As budget negotiations intensified in January, Cook County's health bureau chief, Robert Simon, tried to cut off patients from outside the county from getting medical services. Board President Todd Stroger overturned the decision days later after a political backlash.
Simon "did it instantaneously," Suffredin said. "This is going to involve some discussion."


Recent Headlines

Inside the $1B restoration of the old Cook County Hospital, ‘a city unto itself’
Tuesday, January 22, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

$1M settlement to family of man denied medical attention while in police lock-up
Monday, January 21, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

After beating in Evanston, Northwestern alum seeks to promote better policing
Sunday, January 20, 2019
Injustice Watch

Cook County offers two tax exemptions for seniors
Saturday, January 19, 2019
Homewood Flossmore Chronicle

Will political infighting delay your Cook County property tax assessment appeals?
Friday, January 18, 2019
Daily Herald

Cook County offers $8.5 million in transportation grants
Friday, January 18, 2019
Chicago Tribune

It's time to talk about the way we choose judges
Friday, January 18, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

Pritzker signs ‘long overdue’ gun dealer licensing bill, vows ‘more work to do’
Thursday, January 17, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County Health Opens New Health Center in Arlington Heights
Thursday, January 17, 2019
Daily Herald

A look at other criminal cases where Cook County judges cleared Chicago cops
Thursday, January 17, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

3 Chicago cops found not guilty in Laquan McDonald cover-up conspiracy case
Thursday, January 17, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Old Cook County Hospital on track to become next city landmark
Wednesday, January 16, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Glenview Tentatively OKs Opting Back Into County Minimum Wage, Sick Time Laws
Wednesday, January 16, 2019
Journal and Topics Online

Free Radioactive Radon Test Kits From Cook County
Tuesday, January 15, 2019
Special to suffredin.org

Toni Preckwinkle and county watchdog at odds over political travel reimbursements
Friday, January 11, 2019
Chicago Tribune

2 Cook County judges — one cleared of gun charge, one reassigned for anger management — to return to bench at criminal court
Thursday, January 10, 2019
Chicago Tribune

It's been a bad decade for property taxes
Wednesday, January 09, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

Bond court reform has not put more violent offenders back on the street
Wednesday, January 09, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Glenview pushes minimum wage, paid sick leave discussion to next week
Tuesday, January 08, 2019
Chicago Tribune

How Fritz Kaegi Plans to Transform the Cook County Assessor’s Office
Friday, January 04, 2019
WTTW Chicago Tonight

all news items

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