ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Javon Bea Hospital is one of nine hospitals statewide set to receive funds from the Illinois Department of Public Health to support low-income patients.
State Sen. Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford) and Rep. Maurice West (D-Rockford) announced that $2 million from the $19 million aid package would be used by Mercyhealth to continue to treat nearly 66,000 Medicaid patients.
In April, the hospital announced that it would no longer accept patients with IlliniCare, Meridian, or Molina Medicaid, and Blue Cross Blue Shield Medicaid due to a financial crisis exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Mercyhealth has already shown our commitment to our community by executing a Managed Medicaid contract with Molina along with the $101,106,630 of charitable care, financial assistance, and community contributions we provide each year,” said MercyHealth President Javon R. Bea
“We truly appreciate all of the assistance from our political partners. We are also thankful that the state recognizes that our Medicaid payments are woefully inadequate; however, this fund was provided to eight of the largest Medicaid systems in the state, not specific to Mercy. Mercy is one of the largest Medicaid providers in the state and, by far, the largest locally. This $2 Million will help offset our Medicaid losses of $52 Million this year,” said Vice President Kimberly Scaccia.
Mercyhealth also closed its Pediatric Intensive Care Unit.
The state funding is reserved for “hospitals that participate in the state’s Medicaid managed care program,” meaning Mercy would forfeit the money by declining to change its position.
“My desire is to see the most vulnerable in our community enjoy the same continuity of care as those who are more fortunate,” Stadelman said. “We fought for Rockford to be included in this funding with the belief that some extra backing from the state may encourage Mercy to look out for low-income families.”
“The last thing that Medicaid patients need is the uncertainty and fear of what is going to happen to their healthcare during a pandemic. The fight for more funds to Mercyhealth is to ensure that healthcare remains accessible to everyone in Rockford, no matter what zip code you live in or your level or income,” added West.
Both lawmakers said they are working with the IDPH and UW Health to accommodate Medicaid patients at SwedishAmerican.
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