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.

   
  Eighteen of the 20 largest banks in the world and more than 50 foreign banks have offices in Cook County.
   
     
     
     



Governor signs Medicaid Expansion Bill, Cook County program offers big lessons

Monday, July 22, 2013
WBEZ
by Shannon Heffernan

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed a bill Monday that will make up to half a million uninsured residents eligible for health care coverage through Medicaid Expansion. The expansion is part of the Affordable Care Act and will kick-off in about six months. But Cook County residents have already gotten a taste of the program through a pilot called “CountyCare.”

We spent an evening with Heartland Alliance healthcare outreach workers to see what some of the big lessons from CountyCare have been so far. You can read them below.

Lessons from CountyCare:

1. Importance of outreach and education:  People who’ve never had health care before often don’t know how to use it.  Healthcare workers at a local outreach shelter said that many rely solely on emergency rooms.  The National Institute of Health estimates about 14 to 27 percent of ER visits could be handled by a primary physician. That costs taxpayers big bucks and often doesn’t result in the best long-term care for patients.

Dr. Ram Raju, CEO of Cook County Health and Hospitals System said, “It is drilled into people’s minds for 80 years that they should receive care at the emergency room, our job is to change their opinion.”

Medicaid is hiring people to help newcomers learn how to use insurance.

2. Lack of dental and vision coverage: The biggest challenge most health outreach workers said they’ve faced with CountyCare is the lack of dental and vision care. Medicaid used to provide adult dental care in Illinois. But in 2012, in an attempt to cut costs, it cut adult dental care except for some emergencies. That cut will remain after Medicaid expansion.

Ed Stellon is the director of Heartland Health Outreach. “We want to get away from compartmentalizing the different parts of the body. Oral health care is related to health care. Often the manifestation of a larger health issue is first identified by a dentist in a routine check up,” Stellon said.

3. Long wait times for application approval: Many applicants and outreach workers complained about the gap between when an application was sent in and when it was approved.

“There are some people that it’s been taking 8 weeks and they have everything they need turned in. You know we have people with diabetes who haven’t been able to properly check their blood sugar,” said health outreach worker Cat Schwab.

Schwab says that the long wait times come from the demand. A staggering 74 thousand people have been recruited to CountyCare in just 6 months. The state recently tripled the number of staff who approve applications.  It expects to enroll 115 thousand people before the start of next calendar year, when Medicaid Expansion kicks in statewide.



Recent Headlines

Elevating Evanston Youth
Monday, February 24, 2020
Northwestern

$14 million settlement proposed in lawsuit over Cook County inmates masturbating in front of female public defenders
Sunday, February 23, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

The correct response to violent crime? Believe it or not, we're seeing it in Cook County.
Friday, February 21, 2020
Crain's Chicago Business

For The First Time In More Than A Decade, The Waitlist For Suburban Public Housing Is Opening
Friday, February 21, 2020
WBEZ News

Flashback: Cook County Hospital was home to big egos, surgical drama and stalwarts who found purpose in treating the poor
Friday, February 21, 2020
Chicago Tribune

Can courts do more to force FOID card violators to give up their guns?
Monday, February 17, 2020
Chicago Tribune

Keep the Cook County Health board independent
Sunday, February 16, 2020
Crain's Chicago Business

Park Ridge looks to move 911 dispatching services to Cook County call center
Thursday, February 13, 2020
Chicago Tribune

Editorial: A report’s flaws suggest: Cook County bail reforms may have endangered the public
Thursday, February 13, 2020
Chicago Tribune

Offering rehab instead of jail time, ‘Drug Court’ gives some a second chance
Thursday, February 13, 2020
WGN News

Preckwinkle aide barred from her offices after sexual harassment incident
Tuesday, February 11, 2020
Crain's Chicago Business

New outreach group combating Cook County’s opioid crisis by offering treatment, hope
Tuesday, February 11, 2020
WGN News

Evanston Officials Eye County Grant for Construction of New Animal Shelter
Monday, February 10, 2020
Evanston RoundTable

CTA to spend $38 million studying Red Line extension
Monday, February 10, 2020
Chicago Tribune

In Illinois — the Prairie State — little prairie land remains. But work is being done to save what’s left in Cook County and restore more.
Thursday, February 06, 2020
Chicago Tribune

Brookfield Zoo chief heads for the exits
Thursday, February 06, 2020
Crain's Chicago Business

Suspect in weekend killing of Cook County inmate accused of beating another detainee in November attack captured on video
Wednesday, February 05, 2020
Chicago Tribune

MacArthur grants Cook County another $2.5 million for criminal justice reform
Wednesday, February 05, 2020
Crain's Chicago Business

Property tax hikes won’t be that bad, new report says
Wednesday, February 05, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

MacArthur Foundation donates $2.5 million to Cook County Criminal Courts
Wednesday, February 05, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

all news items

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