Cook County hopes to save $99M through Medicaid waivers - FOX 32 News Chicago

Cook County hopes to save $99M through Medicaid waivers

Posted: Updated:
CHICAGO (Sun-Times Media Wire) -

Cook County'scash-strapped public health and hospital system hopes to save an estimated $99million thanks to more than 1,000 federal Medicaid waivers that were announcedon Friday.

The waivers will helpthe health system enroll more than 115,000 uninsured patients into the federalhealth program.

County BoardPresident Toni Preckwinkle said she has worked with state and federal lawmakersto obtain the waivers.

"I am so pleased tosee this result after many months of hard work," Preckwinkle said in astatement. "Our health care system is vital to the community and we mustcontinue to ensure everyone in Cook County has access to quality medical care."

The waivers will onlybe accepted at county health facilities, but patients will be able to use themelsewhere after 2014, said county public health spokeswoman Marisa Kollias.Officials hope to keep the patients within the county health system after 2014.

Uninsured patientswho will be eligible for Medicaid in 2014 can get the waivers. They willreceive a "medical home" where they can obtain the routine and preventativemedical treatment, according to a county news release.

County officials havebeen working to find ways to drive down costs within the public health system,which counts two hospitals, an urgent care center and more than a dozenclinics.

While the county hadn'tsealed the deal until Friday, Preckwinkle was so confident the waivers wouldcome through she banked on them in her nearly $3 billion 2013 spending proposal— funding that largely helps run the health system as well as the courts andjail. The nearly $100 million will help as Preckwinkle works to erase aprojected $268 million shortfall next year.

Share Your Photos & Video

Powered by WorldNow

205 N. Michigan Avenue
Ground Floor
Chicago, IL 60601
Station Operator: (312) 565-5532
Newsroom: (312)565-5533

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices