Illinois Healthcare Professionals Not Getting Paid by the State
Hospitals, doctors, and other caregivers in the midwestern state of Illinois are waiting to get paid millions of dollars in compensation as the state government goes through an unprecedented budget crisis.
Hospitals and doctors in Illinois are complaining that thegovernment is delaying Medicaid payments and health insurance payments for state employees. The budget crisis has brought Illinois to the point where it does not have enough money to pay off its bills.
OSF Healthcare, a network of 10 hospitals based in Peoria, Illinois, says it is owed nearly $115.0 million in outstanding payments from the state. Some of the hospital’s bills are more than four months old. Michael Allen, the hospital network’s Chief Financial Officer, says that the management team is now being cautious about the hospital’s future, as there appears to be “no end in sight” to the fiscal crisis.
The Illinois government also owes the state’s dentists about $225.0 million. The Illinois State Dental Society says that some of these unpaid dental bills are from more than 23 months ago. The situation has gotten so bad that some dentists are now selling their receivables to make ends meet, while others are asking to be paid upfront in cash from state employees.
A dentist based in Jacksonville, Dr. Ronald Lynch, said that he is owed $250,000 from the state. Lynch said that some dentists have had to ask for cash payments from patients “just to survive.” He added, “It’s very stressful.”
Similarly, Memorial Health and HSHS St. John’s, which are two hospital systems in Springfield (the capital city of Illinois), have said that the state government owes them collectively more than $200.0 million.
The Chief Executive Officer of Springfield’s Memorial Health says he has postponed a $100.0 million expansion project because of the fiscal uncertainty.
Springfield has a majority of its working population employed in the healthcare sector, so the budget problems are causing a lot of grief in that city
Illinois’ unpaid bills have now crossed the $14.6 billion mark, and are continuing to pile up. The Illinois state lawmakershave failed to pass a budget in the last two fiscal years. There is a deadlock between the Democratic-dominated Legislature and Republican Governor Bruce Rauner.
Neither of the two sides is making a compromise on its budget proposals. As a result, the state is now teetering on the brink of bankruptcy.
“How Bad Is the Crisis in Illinois?” Fox Business, June 27, 2017.