Elmhurst Memorial Healthcare joins Hospital Advocacy Day in Springfield to protect Illinois Health Care
For immediate release, April 26, 2012
Kyle Bauer, Public Relations Manager, 630-993-5702
ELMHURST – Leaders from Elmhurst Memorial Healthcare (EMHC) met with State Senators and Representatives in Springfield during the Illinois Hospital Association’s Hospital Advocacy Day on April 25 to discuss the dire consequences of the Governor’s proposed $2.7 billion cut to Medicaid (23 percent), as well as the critical need for the General Assembly to enact a legislative solution on hospital tax exemption in the spring session.
The Governor’s Medicaid proposal includes a major rate cut to hospitals of about $350 million or approximately 8 percent and about $150 million in other reductions targeted at hospitals. Representatives from EMHC met with a number of elected officials, including Sens. Carole Pankau, Kirk Dillard and Ron Sandak; Reps. Dennis Reboletti, Patty Bellock and Chris Nybo; House Republican Leader Tom Cross; and Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno. The purpose of these meetings was discuss how the proposed Medicaid cut is so large and drastic that it would force hospitals across the state to reduce or eliminate health care services or jobs or both, reducing patients’ access to the health care they need.
“We recognize that the state faces serious financial challenges,” said W. Peter Daniels, EMHC’s President/CEO. “However, blunt Medicaid cuts will hurt the most vulnerable populations in our community, hospitals and the health care delivery system. We need a thoughtful, multi-year strategy to transform the Medicaid program to make it as cost effective as possible.”
EMHC representatives also urged state lawmakers to support and enact a legislative solution to the property tax exemption issue for nonprofit hospitals. The hospital community’s approach on hospital tax exemption as the framework for a legislative solution has the support of major organizations such as the Civic Federation and Illinois Chamber of Commerce, as well as several county boards around the state and 18 members of the Illinois Congressional Delegation.
“We are already doing our part to help the state,” said Jim Doyle, EMHC’s Senior Vice President/Chief Financial Officer. “Hospitals are the fourth largest contributor of revenues to the state, paying $900 million under the Hospital Assessment Program and generating $900 million in federal matching funds for Medicaid. That brings the state more net revenue than the state lottery. Imposing massive Medicaid cuts or new taxes on hospitals are not meaningful, workable solutions to our state’s challenges, but will cause irreparable harm to patients and our community.”
Hospitals’ collective economic impact on Illinois is nearly $79 billion annually. Hospitals are among the top three employers in nearly half of the state’s counties, generating nearly 425,000 direct and indirect jobs for Illinoisans.
EMHC employs more than 3,000 people, making it the largest employer in Elmhurst and one of the largest in DuPage County. With a robust medical staff of more than 600 physicians, nearly every medical specialty and subspecialty is represented. Each year, EMHC serves thousands of community residents and helps keep its communities strong by providing essential medical services 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.