Illinois hospital faces closure due to payment delays

The New Roseland Community Hospital in Chicago may have to shut down due to the budget impasse that's taking place at the Illinois statehouse, according to a WBEZ report.

The Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law was in court today arguing that the state is required to make complete Medicaid payments to hospitals even though Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner and lawmakers haven't approved a spending plan authorizing the state to make those payments, according to the report.

Looking specifically at Roseland Community Hospital, the SSNCPL said the delayed payments will force the facility to begin closing in less than a week. Seventy-one percent of the hospital's funding comes from Medicaid.  

"The families of those who are going to die because of this political budget impasse will not give a damn about party lines," Tim Egan, president and CEO of Roseland Community Hospital, told WBEZ. "Just as bullets don't recognize political boundaries, grieving families, critically injured patients and an abandoned community will not care about Republicans or Democrats."

The Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services is named as a defendant in the SSNCPL's lawsuit. Although the department believes the SSNCPL is incorrectly interpreting the consent decree it is relying on in the matter, it does recognize the importance of passing a balanced budget.

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