Cook County board leader confronts Chicago system's billing, clerical issues

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle is responding to a recent inspector general report stating Chicago-based Cook County Health and Hospitals System lost $165 million over three years due to billing and clerical errors, reports the Chicago Tribune.

The 10-page report from the Cook County Office of the Independent Inspector General attributed the hospital system's revenue losses to such issues as staff errors during patient scheduling and registration and coding and billing mistakes due to a lack of accountability.

While Ms. Preckwinkle agreed there have been billing problems, she did not fully agree with the inspector general's report, saying other recent financial audits paint a healthy financial picture, the Chicago Tribune reported. She also noted ongoing improvement efforts.

"There's work that needs to be done to address some of the issues the [report] found, [but] it's important to remember that the county's hospital system has worked to reform and modernize its operations," Ms. Preckwinkle said, according to the report. "It continues to do so."

Additionally, she argued the report oversimplifies an issue that is "incredibly complex."

Hospital system officials have also estimated the organization lost $79.5 million to $132.5 million rather than $165 million.

Read the full Chicago Tribune report here.

 

Alia Paavola contributed to this report.  

 

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