Illinois hospitals will soon receive money to treat millions of people who are covered through Medicaid.
The federal government approved an Illinois plan to distribute that money, called the hospital assessment program.
The program helps hospitals pay for the often-expensive services for the poor, elderly and disabled. Many hospitals that rely on those reimbursements say they would have closed without the new plan in place.
Randy Schorfheide is the marketing and communications manager with SSM Health Good Samaritan Hospital in Mt. Vernon and St. Mary's Hospital in Centralia. He says he's glad that didn't happen.
"Having the opportunity to receive additional reimbursement dollars will only enhance and strengthen our ability to serve those who are vulnerable and marginalized in receiving the necessary healthcare they deserve."
He says having Medicaid money in place means those people will have the healthcare they need.
“This will only strengthen our ability to serve them, those individuals who are vulnerable and marginalized, each and every day.” Schorfheide says the money will also help pay for obesity treatments and a growing number of patient visits at the hospitals. Others, like the Service Employees International Union, say some hospitals will still lose money under the new plan, and that it doesn’t do enough to address gaps in Medicaid-funded healthcare.