Illinois hospitals prepare for Medicaid funding changes

CHICAGO (AP) – Many Illinois hospitals whose budgets rely heavily on Medicaid funding are bracing for a financial hit, as the states revamps a formula to distribute the money.

The Chicago Tribune reports that among the state’s 22 safety net hospitals is St. Bernard, where more than half of patient stays are covered by Medicaid.

CEO Charles Holland says St. Bernard will need more money to keep it viable in the future.

The hospital assessment program distributes about $3.5 billion in Medicaid funding. It hasn’t been updated in over a decade and uses 2005 inpatient data and 2009 outpatient data to determine the amount hospitals pay and receive.

Officials say the data doesn’t reflect how and where Medicaid recipients are getting their care.

Lawmakers are expected to vote on a redesigned plan by the end of the month or in early February.