Suffredin- Changing County Government  
 

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:  
   
 
 

Search current and proposed Cook County Legislation in Larry's exclusive legislative library.

   
 

The Cook County Code of Ordinances are the current laws of Cook County.

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



Preckwinkle proposes to up spending on Cook County hospital

Thursday, October 18, 2012
Crain's Chicago Business
by Kristen Schorsch

(Crain's) — The Cook County Health and Hospitals System is close to a deal to expand its Medicaid rolls early, a move that could bring in nearly $100 million in annual net revenue but requires boosting spending by the cash-strapped health care network to nearly $1 billion, its highest level in three years.

County health system spending would climb 8 percent, to $966 million for the fiscal year beginning Dec. 1, from $894 million in 2012 according to Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle's proposed 2013 budget, unveiled today. Spending has fallen for two consecutive years amid a cost-cutting campaign.

County officials hope to enroll 115,000 patients into Medicaid before 2014, when the federal health care overhaul expands eligibility for the program for the poor.

To accommodate a surge of new patients, the county health system spending would reach its highest level since 2010, when Ms. Preckwinkle was elected and spending reached $974 million.

The increased spending is justified by the lure of bigger Medicaid revenue and transforming a system in which patients typically wait until they are sick to seek care, costing the system even more money, officials said.

“We're hopeful that over the next several years this can dramatically stabilize our public health system,” Ms. Preckwinkle said during a meeting of the Crain's editorial board on Tuesday.

Yet winning approval from the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services for the county's plan has taken longer than county officials expected.

In August, health system CEO Ramanathan Raju predicted that Cook County could start enrolling patients as soon as October.

On Tuesday, Dr. Raju said he expects to win federal approval by the end of this month.

The move would generate $99 million in net revenue, the biggest new revenue contributor to the county's proposed $3 billion 2013 budget and nearly four times the amount of the proposed increase in tobacco taxes.

Although approval is not final, federal officials have agreed to pay the county health system a fixed fee of $627 per Medicaid recipient per month for the crop of new patients, up from roughly $300 per person per month that county officials had earlier projected, Dr. Raju said.

“It's an influx of resources that are desperately need right now, and it's an opportunity for the system to improve itself,” Margie Schaps, executive director of the Chicago-based Health and Medicine Policy Research Group, said of the county's potential Medicaid expansion.

Even at the higher level of reimbursement, county health officials still face the challenge of keeping the costs of care under the fixed fee, because the county is responsible for any cost overruns.

A CMS spokeswoman declined to comment.

The added revenue should help reduce the annual county subsidy for the health system because the federal government would be shouldering more costs for new enrollees, Ms. Preckwinkle said. Under health care reform's Medicaid expansion, CMS would cover 100 percent of the cost of new enrollees until 2016, then 90 percent by 2020 and beyond, according to the Menlo Park, Calif.-based Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

The health system is asking for a $254 million taxpayer subsidy for the 2013 fiscal year. That's in line with the 2012 budgeted subsidy. The amount has decreased every year since at least 2008, when the county health system received a $408 million subsidy, according to the Civic Federation, a Chicago-based fiscal watchdog group.

About 210 people would be hired from nearly 400 vacant positions in the health system to accommodate for the influx of patients if allowed to expand the Medicaid rolls early.



Recent Headlines

Editorial: What happened to the elk?
Friday, August 10, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Wells Fargo to offer $15,000 grants to potential Cook County homebuyers
Thursday, August 09, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Suit alleges Cook County detainees secretly monitored in bathrooms in holding cells at courthouses
Wednesday, August 08, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Half the elk at Busse Woods died last year, and officials aren’t sure why
Tuesday, August 07, 2018
Chicago Tribune

A letter from Dr. Jay Shannon regarding gun violence and Stroger Hospital
Tuesday, August 07, 2018
Special to suffredin.org

As Evanston adapts to minimum wage hike, nearby towns say they have no plan to join in
Tuesday, August 07, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Lawsuit could blast a $250 million hole in county budget
Monday, August 06, 2018
Crain's Chicago Business

Pappas: Automatic refunds of $19.5 million going to 53,000 homeowners because of property tax cuts
Monday, August 06, 2018
Special to suffredin.org

Thousands of Cook County homeowners to receive property tax refunds
Monday, August 06, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County Board Adopts Resolution Concerned With Foxconn Impacts
Thursday, August 02, 2018
Journal and Topics Media Group

FBI: Ex-employee alleges Dorothy Brown picked up cash payoffs at bagman's home
Thursday, August 02, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Demolition of MWRD dam to clear way for fish and recreation
Wednesday, August 01, 2018
Special to suffredin.org

EXCLUSIVE: Sheriff Tom Dart to pair inmates with pet dogs
Wednesday, August 01, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

County Minimum Wage, Sick Time Advisory Questions Approved for November Ballot
Wednesday, August 01, 2018
Journal and Topics Media Group

Editorial: Berrios and Kaegi: What a new assessor can and can't fix
Thursday, July 26, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Your Personal Data May Be Exposed in Cook County Traffic Records
Wednesday, July 25, 2018
CBS Chicago

Garcia avoids public tiff with Preckwinkle, delays plan for county revenue forecasting commission
Wednesday, July 25, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Cook County TIF districts bring in $1 billion
Tuesday, July 24, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County board moves to prevent repeat of pop tax fiasco
Friday, July 20, 2018
Crain's Chicago Business

Cook County forest worker was going 76 mph in 30 mph zone, had THC in system during fatal crash while on job: prosecutors
Thursday, July 19, 2018
Chicago Tribune

all news items

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