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:  
   
 
 

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 Hospital fills more outpatient prescriptions every day than are filled at 26 Walgreen's drug store combined.
   
     
     
     



Cook County begins enrolling 250,000 new Medicaid recipients
County services will shift from emergency care to “medical home” model

Monday, November 19, 2012

by Lewis Wallace

This week Cook County will start sending letters to about 115,000 of its low-income residents inviting them to enroll in the county’s new Medicaid program.

Adults under 65 with an income of up to 133% of the federal poverty level will be eligible for Medicaid beginning in 2014 in states that choose to participate in the Affordable Care Act Medicaid expansion.

In Cook County, the expanded eligibility will begin even sooner, in January 2013. Cook County applied for and received a federal waiver to let the law kick in a year early.

“We are excited not only because we got the waiver, we also get an opportunity to transform our healthcare system into the way it should be,” said Dr. Ram Raju, CEO of Cook County Health Services.

The new Medicaid program, called County Care, will operate on a “medical home” model - which means the county’s patients would have a doctor, a nurse, a social worker, and a medical assistant assigned to manage their health care.

“What we do in the old model is, if you come through the door, you are my problem, I’ll treat you well, I’ll give you prescriptions. Then, you are not my problem until you come back next time six months later,” said Dr. Raju. “In the medical home model, even when you go home, you are still my responsibility.”

To begin enrollment County Care, the county plans to reach out to every single eligible person currently on its books.

“It’s a massive task, because it is a lot of people we need to reach within a short period of time,” said Dr. Raju. “But one good advantage is that most of the people are already in our system.”

A total of about 250,000 people in Cook County are probably eligible for County Care, but the county first plans to make contact with those who have already come through the Cook County system or one of its community health centers. After Nov. 26, low-income adults who are not already on the books will be able to call to find out whether they are eligible.

County Care to provide mental health and substance abuse services

Medicaid is generally administered by states, but the federal waiver offered under Obamacare allowed counties to apply to create Medicaid programs jointly operated by the county and the federal government. The costs of the expanded coverage under County Care bypass the Illinois’fiscally rocky Medicaid system – they’re split between the county and the federal government.

Come 2014, eligible people will be able to leave County Care and enroll in Medicaid through the state of Illinois. County Care patients are required to go to a provider within the county’s network of hospitals and affiliated Federally Qualified Health Centers, whereas recipients of state Medicaid can go to any doctor that accepts Medicaid.

But Dr. Raju said he hopes that by then, they will want to choose County Care. In addition to setting up patients in a “medical home”, County Care will provide mental health and substance abuse services, which Illinois Medicaid currently does not cover. The lack of mental health services in the region has been a topic of ongoing controversy.

“If there are substance abuse issues, we do not want them to get lost in the system,” he said. And he thinks the medical home model should be in use around the country. “We believe that is the future of the healthcare delivery model in this country.”



Recent Headlines

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

Cook County Finance Committee to approve $3 million settlement in medical malpractice case
Tuesday, September 03, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

all news items

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