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Health care faces Cook budget scrutiny

Tuesday, January 04, 2011
Daily Herald
by Ted Cox

Cook County's Health & Hospitals System was largely blamed for a $30.2 million countywide shortfall against more than $2 billion in projected revenues for the 2010 fiscal year that ended in November.

HHS Chief Financial Officer Michael Ayers said the agency saw a $2 million drop in patient fees for Medicaid, but that he was “confident” they were doing everything possible to maximize returns and deal with red tape.

Ayers added that the agency is pressing the state to pay another $40 million it is owed in payments for health care.

HHS revenues figure to come under scrutiny later in the month as county agencies face a series of budget hearings as the County Board prepares to put the finishing touches on a 2011 budget that has to be balanced and approved by the end of February. The budget hearing for health care is set for Jan. 24.



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