Thursday, April 26, 2007

Update on hospital assessments

A House committee approved a so-called supplemental budget Wednesday afternoon that would give the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services the authority to distribute $2.4 billion in federal funds over two fiscal years to reimburse health care providers who care for Medicaid patients. (See page 63 of the bill.)

Along with the department’s spending authority for the “hospital assessment” program, the budget also includes more than $1.4 million for legislators’ 9.5 percent pay raises (page 36 of the bill) recommended by the Compensation Review Board’s 2006 report. There’s also $7.7 million for families of veterans who passed away in the line of duty in the Middle East (first page of the bill).

The supplemental budget bill still has to get approval by the full House and the full Senate before going to the governor.

UPDATE: More political maneuvering resulted in the House Democrats, as expected, reinserting Commonwealth Edison back into Sen. Gary Forby’s legislation aimed at offering one year of relief for Illinois’ electricity customers (see our April 20 blog below). The full House still has to vote on the measure before it goes back to the Senate, where it’s expected to either stall or fail.

NOTE: I’m still waiting for an official response from the Department of Healthcare and Family Services regarding the Medicaid bills and the hospital assessment program.

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