Suffredin- An Advocate for All of Us  
 

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.
   
     
     
     



Employee: Hospital isn't billing
Oak Forest revelation gives health system critics new target

Friday, October 26, 2007
Daily Southtown
by Emily Udell, Staff writer

Cook County Board President Todd Stroger said he will look into a claim that Oak Forest Hospital's uninsured patients stopped getting bills four to six months ago, possibly contributing to a loss of revenue for the cash-strapped county.
Bills for self-pay patients at the facility have been piling up since Dr. Robert Simon, the interim chief of the Cook County Health Bureau, ordered the finance department to stop sending them, according to a billing clerk at the hospital.
"Six months now - not one bill has gone out," said Marianne Morang at a public hearing on the proposed county budget. "No bills going out, no revenue coming in."
Jamie McPeek Johnson, director of billing and patient accounting services at Oak Forest Hospital, said the department stopped billing uninsured patients in June or July as part of an effort to restructure the bureau's charity care program.
"It's just with these self-pay patients that we have to take a step back and review our charity care program because we don't want them to be harassed by collection agencies," she said.
She said the self-pay bills stopped going out as county officials worked to make the language on the bills consistent among the three county hospitals. She also said the department still was billing Medicare, Medicaid and Blue Cross Blue Shield.
"We were told to hold all billing because the wording on the bills was not correct," said Morang, who has worked in the department for 14 years. "Patients are calling and asking for bills."
The revelation came at the first of four public hearings on the $3.2 billion budget proposal that includes increases in sales, parking and gas taxes. The projected budget deficit for the next fiscal year is $239 million.
"They're reaching into taxpayers' pockets in order to cover up the incompetence of the political appointees in the hospital system," said Commissioner Forrest Claypool (D-Chicago) after the meeting.
The county has been roundly criticized for mismanagement of the billing system at the health bureau. At least $200 million in bills went unclaimed last year because the county failed to issue invoices.
Johnson said she did not immediately have information on what percentage of bills generated by her department were for self-pay patients or when billing for those patients would resume and referred a reporter to bureau chief financial officer John Cookingham's office. Calls to Cookingham and the Cook County public relations department were not returned by deadline.
Critics of the county's management of the $745-million-a-year system said billing problems at Oak Forest Hospital were another example of the board's inability to reform the embattled bureau.
"I'm concerned that we're in chaotic freefall in terms of billing," said Commissioner Larry Suffredin (D-Evanston), who said he planned to propose an ordinance next month that would turn over the administration of the health bureau to an independent trusteeship.
Stroger said he was not aware of the freeze on self-pay bills at Oak Forest as it was stated at the public hearing but he knew the charity care policy was being revamped.
"I trust that the director was giving the factual information," said Stroger, who added he would talk to Simon and Cookingham about the problem.
On Thursday, Stroger appointed a bipartisan task force to study models of independent governance for the health system in response to the findings of an independent panel, which said there was a dire need to turn over the management of the bureau to outside medical experts. The task force was slated to report to the board within 60 to 90 days, according a news release from the county board president's office.


Recent Headlines

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

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

Cook County Health recognizes Cervical Health Awareness Month
Friday, January 04, 2019
Special to suffredin.org

2 neighborhood courthouses close: 'You’re discouraging citizens from going to court'
Friday, January 04, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Campaign money tied to Ald. Edward Burke’s alleged extortion scheme was intended for County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, sources say
Thursday, January 03, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Cook County, parking operators in dispute over possibly millions in back taxes that could leave consumers pinched
Thursday, January 03, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Preckwinkle pursues back taxes from parking lot operators
Wednesday, January 02, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

30K Cook County homeowners to get $8.3M in automatic property tax refunds
Monday, December 31, 2018
Special to suffredin.org

2019 preview: Glenview to consider minimum wage
Monday, December 31, 2018
Chicago Tribune

'If I can do this, you can do this': Cook County judges inspire students of similar backgrounds
Thursday, December 27, 2018
Chicago Tribune

The Price Tag Of Freedom For Hundreds Of Non-Violent Cook County Inmates Is Less Than $2,000
Thursday, December 27, 2018
CBS Chicago

Give the Gift of Nature
Thursday, December 27, 2018
Special to suffredin.org

Why those 19 inmates were in Cook County Jail
Wednesday, December 26, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Medical examiner slow to review cases of fired pathologist who missed a murder
Wednesday, December 26, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

all news items

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