The Madison County Record Feb. 17, 2016, 2:11pm


To the Editor:

Illinois’ hospitals and health systems are dedicated to providing quality healthcare in every community. Hospitals and health systems across the state are leading healthcare transformation, implementing new and innovative models of care delivery and care coordination to ensure the best outcomes, improve population health and lower costs.

We appreciate the fiscal challenges facing our State, as shared by Governor Rauner in his budget address.

However, we remain deeply concerned with the lack of a state budget and the resulting long delays in payments to hospitals – jeopardizing access to healthcare for Illinoisans as well as the continued viability and financial stability of many hospitals, especially small and rural, critical access and safety net hospitals.

We urge the Governor and General Assembly to work together and with the hospital community on meaningful and workable solutions to strengthen healthcare, including the Medicaid program.

It is important to note that:

- Illinois ranks 49th in the nation in Medicaid spending per enrollee – substantially lower than all other Midwestern states and large states (e.g., Minnesota is 9th; Ohio 17th; New York 2nd; Pennsylvania 7th);

- 75 percent of Medicaid payments to Illinois hospitals are from NON-state sources;

- Through federal matching funds and the hospital assessment program, Illinois hospitals and health systems provide $400 million in additional funding to non-hospital providers such as community clinics and nursing homes;

- Every hospital job supports 1.5 additional jobs for our local economies; statewide, hospitals generate an annual economic impact of nearly $89 billion and 500,000 direct and indirect jobs.

Over the past several years, IHA has worked closely with the General Assembly and the Administration in a true spirit of collaboration and cooperation on critical healthcare issues and on ways to address the state’s fiscal challenges. IHA and the hospital community stand ready to continue our partnership with the state’s leaders to ensure the health and well-being of all Illinoisans.

A.J. Wilhelmi, President & CEO

Illinois Health and Hospital Association

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