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.

   
  The Cook County Forest Preserve District maintains over 70 miles of bicycle trails.
   
     
     
     



Cook County stops paying for non-county residents' prescriptions
Alternatives sought to cover low-income residents' medicines

Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Chicago Tribune
by Jeff Long | Tribune staff reporter

McHenry County officials offered a snapshot Tuesday of the kinds of prescriptions that dozens of residents can no longer get filled for free at Cook County health clinics -- drugs for high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol and diabetes.

Since the Cook County Bureau of Health Services stopped filling prescriptions for out-of-county residents on Dec. 1, officials in McHenry and other collar counties have been fielding calls from low-income people about where they can turn.

"I can understand why the residents of Cook County wouldn't be responsible for the residents of McHenry County," McHenry County Board Chairman Ken Koehler said.
Health services bureau spokesman Sean Howard estimated those prescriptions cost Cook County $5 million last year. The burden had become too great to continue serving those who don't live in the county, he said.

Koehler and officials in other counties said Tuesday they are optimistic residents turned away by Cook County could participate in programs that provide federal money to assist with drug costs.

But officials acknowledged it was doubtful those programs would cover as much as in Cook County, where patients often pay nothing for prescriptions, Howard said.

At a meeting to discuss the issue in northwest suburban Woodstock on Tuesday, McHenry County health officials calculated that 134 McHenry County residents filled 848 orders for prescription and nonprescription medications in Cook County from December 2006 through October.

But it was unclear exactly how many people who live outside of Cook County received prescriptions through its health bureau. According to figures Howard provided, McHenry County residents ordered 2,435 prescriptions between Dec. 1, 2006, and Sept. 30, 2007 -- far more than the total calculated by McHenry County officials using Cook County data. Officials could not explain the variance.

Howard said 38,155 prescriptions were filled for DuPage County residents, 13,273 for Kane County residents, 18,235 for Lake County residents and 20,071 for Will County residents.

Officials in DuPage, Lake and Will Counties could not say whether those numbers were accurate. No one from the Kane County Health Department could be reached Tuesday.

McHenry County officials said they want to make sure residents who need prescriptions get them.

"People are on drugs for a reason," said Suzanne Hoban, executive director of the non-profit Family Health Partnership Clinic in Woodstock, which has been fielding calls from McHenry County residents who had been going to Cook County. "It's because they need them to stay healthy, and without them they won't."

None of the collar counties agreed to help pay Cook County for prescriptions, Howard said. "It's been quite a burden," he said. "We think it's only fair."

Residents from the collar counties can still get other services at Cook County health centers, Howard said.

Cook County had threatened similar action in January only to back off. But financial strains became too great to continue providing drugs to non-county residents, Howard said.

Facing a $130 million shortfall when 2007 began, the Cook County Bureau of Health Services expects to fall between $78 million and $80 million short this year, he said.

"They gave us a year's notice," said Dale Galassie, executive director of the Lake County Health Department and Community Health Center. "They shouldn't be paying for medication for Lake County residents. We get that."

Only a handful of Lake County residents, he said, have asked where to go now.

DuPage County Health Department spokesman Dave Hass said only 10 people have called and all of them were directed to new sources for their prescriptions.

Hoban presented officials with alternatives, such as the discount programs some stores allow for certain drugs. Pharmaceutical companies often have programs for low-income people.

"We just don't want anybody to fall through the cracks," Koehler said.



Recent Headlines

Cook County Circuit Court resuming limited in-person operations Monday
Monday, July 06, 2020

Coronavirus in Illinois updates: Here’s what’s happening Monday with COVID-19 in the Chicago area
Monday, July 06, 2020
Chicago Tribune

Lightfoot, senior advocates strike deal on Covid-19 housing protection ordinance
Monday, July 06, 2020
The Daily Line

New flood maps tell us we aren’t doing enough to stop rising waters
Sunday, July 05, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County courts start reopening Monday, with thousands of cases stalled by pandemic. ‘How do you wake the sleeping giant?’
Saturday, July 04, 2020
Chicago Tribune

Cook County Board considers nonbinding proposal to shift money from ‘failed and racist’ policing, incarceration systems
Saturday, July 04, 2020
Chicago Tribune

Coronavirus pandemic should spur family talk about financial planning, too
Saturday, July 04, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

COVID-19 Cases Are On The Rise In Some Parts Of Illinois. This Worries Experts.
Friday, July 03, 2020
WBEZ News

Cannabis, gambling taxes to boost county amid long-term budget woes
Thursday, July 02, 2020
The Daily Line

Coronavirus in Illinois updates: Here’s what’s happening Thursday with COVID-19 in the Chicago area
Thursday, July 02, 2020
Chicago Tribune

'Going To Do The Best We Can': Cook County Adjusts Outreach Strategy For US Census Due To COVID-19
Thursday, July 02, 2020
WBBM Radio

Why local school districts are lining up against Fritz Kaegi
Thursday, July 02, 2020
Crain's Chicago Business

How COVID-19 threatens health care in Cook County
Thursday, July 02, 2020
Crain's Chicago Business

Cook County’s new website shows nearly half of census funds spent on advertising, marketing
Wednesday, July 01, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

Forest Preserves of Cook County opens more in Phase 4
Wednesday, July 01, 2020
Daily Herald

Dart, other county sheriffs demand state prisons start accepting inmates again
Wednesday, July 01, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

A COVID-19 surge in your county? New Illinois website offers ways to check.
Wednesday, July 01, 2020
Chicago Tribune

Chicago, Cook County, Illinois raise minimum wage Wednesday
Wednesday, July 01, 2020
The Daily Line

Illinois ends June with about half the daily COVID-19 deaths and new cases as in peak month of May
Tuesday, June 30, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

Kim Foxx confirms office will err on side of dismissing cases related to protests, curfew
Tuesday, June 30, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

all news items

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