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.

   
  The first blood bank in the world was established at Cook County Hospital by Dr. Bernard Fantus in 1937.
   
     
     
     



Cook County health system to bolster front line in effort to improve patient services
85 nurses, others to be hired in effort to retain patients once new health care rules go into effect

Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Chicago Tribune
by Peter Frost

The Cook County Health & Hospitals System plans to hire up to 85 nurses and front-line health care workers in coming months as the cash-strapped public hospital system tries to boost patient satisfaction in preparation for national health care changes.

Ramanathan Raju, the health system's new chief executive, laid out on Monday a series of initiatives its plans this year to ramp up services amid intensifying competition among the region's hospitals.

Raju, speaking at a City Club of Chicago-sponsored event, said the county fears that once roughly 100,000 of its nonpaying patients become eligible in 2014 for an expanded Medicaid program, they may flee the county hospital system for for-profit and nonprofit health systems, like Northwestern Memorial and Rush University hospitals.

A mass exodus of these patients could cripple the system's fragile finances by shifting its patient mix further toward the uninsured, county officials said.

The Cook County health system, which includes Stroger Hospital, Cermak Health Services and the Rothstein CORE Center, classifies more than half of its patients as underinsured or uninsured. If a significant portion of newly insured patients were to leave the system, the percentage of uninsured patients could grow to the high 90s, Raju said.

The effect of such a shift, Raju said, "would be devastating."

The county health system this month said it collected $190 million in patient fees in its fiscal year ended Nov. 30. That's down significantly from the $360 million it had expected. It is facing an unspecified funding gap for 2012. Neither Raju nor Cook County BoardPresident Toni Preckwinkle would specify the size of the projected deficit.

Though Raju insisted that the county hospital system's quality of care is "very good," its customer service, such as wait times, availability of doctor appointments and staff friendliness, needs improvement.

The county system, he said, must improve such services if it wants to retain those patients who will become a new source of revenue once they're enrolled in government-sponsored insurance.

That effort starts with hiring nurses and other front-end health care providers who are "caring and compassionate," said Maureen O'Donnell, the county's human resources director, who recently was tapped to lead the health system's hiring efforts. Part of her initial focus is to expedite the hiring process.

The county needs to keep patients in its system because once "we get them enrolled in Medicaid, we'll have the opportunity to get reimbursed for care we're already providing," Preckwinkle said.

Raju, who took the health system's top job in October, said the county is pressing Illinois officials to secure a waiver from the federal government that would allow the health system to seek federal matching funds for the roughly 100,000 low-income patients it serves each year.

The program would allow counties and states to enroll patients under the expanded Medicaid guidelines earlier, thus providing the hospitals a leg up in retaining patients before implementation of health care changes in 2014, Raju said. He said he hopes the waiver will be approved this year.


Recent Headlines

Cook County Jail’s book limit ruled as proper
Wednesday, September 18, 2019
Chicago Daily law Bulletin

Prisoner escapes from Chicago police custody en route to Cook County Jail
Tuesday, September 17, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

County clerk’s office needs federal oversight
Monday, September 16, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

City Club of Chicago: Toni Preckwinkle – Advancing Racial Equity in Cook County
Monday, September 16, 2019
WGN Radio

Choosing Cook County judges, Justice Ginsburg reminds us, should not be a popularity contest
Monday, September 16, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Kim Foxx interested, wary of working with Trump White House on criminal justice reform
Sunday, September 15, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Is Clerk Karen Yarbrough ‘best official’ in county — or is patronage hiring flap only ‘tip of the iceberg’?
Sunday, September 15, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

A secret vote will choose Cook County’s next judicial chief. A $270 million budget, thousands of employees, and the future of a huge court system are at stake.
Wednesday, September 11, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Evans Faces Challenge Thursday For Position As Cook County Chief Judge
Wednesday, September 11, 2019
WBEZ News

Cook County Health's John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital Receives $5M Federal Grant to Support Cancer Research
Wednesday, September 11, 2019
Daily Herald

Cook County Forest Preserves Might Pitch Property Tax Hike To Voters
Wednesday, September 11, 2019
WBEZ News

Column: Ethically, Todd Ricketts owes Cook County six more years of property taxes on his Wilmette house. He should pay up.
Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Watchdog accuses County Clerk Karen Yarbrough of running ‘illegal patronage’ operation, wants court oversight
Tuesday, September 10, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Cook County Prosecutors Decline To File Charges In About 1 In Every 5 Murder Cases
Thursday, September 05, 2019
WBEZ Chicago Public Radio

Cook County Maps Story of Opioid Epidemic with New Website
Thursday, September 05, 2019
WBEZ News

Slow refund checks for Water Tower residents—including the county treasurer—lead to proposed fee
Wednesday, September 04, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

Criminal history vs. compassion? County debate over role of rap sheets in rental decisions
Wednesday, September 04, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County’s new law barring landlords from turning away tenants with certain criminal backgrounds faces controversy
Wednesday, September 04, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Editorial: Upholding Cook County’s assault weapons ban
Tuesday, September 03, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Cook County Hospital rehab awarded $3 million in state tax credits
Tuesday, September 03, 2019
Curbed Chicago

all news items

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