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Advocate Health Care to cut spending by $200 million: report

Jim Skogsbergh is president and CEO of Advocate Health Care. | Sun-Times file photo

Advocate Health Care, which operates 12 hospitals in Illinois, intends to reduce spending by $200 million, in part, because of delays in payments from the state of Illinois.

CEO Jim Skogsbergh insisted the spending cuts were unrelated to its failed bid to merge with NorthShore University HealthSystem, Crain’s Chicago Business reported Thursday.

Debt from patients unable to pay their medical bills is soaring. Reimbursement rates from Medicaid and Medicare don’t cover costs, and payments from private insurers aren’t making up the difference, Skogsbergh told Crain’s. Additionally, the hospital group is awaiting payment from the state of Illinois, which doesn’t have a budget.

“We think these financial pressures are here to stay,” Skogsbergh said. “It’s irresponsible not to take some action.”

The Downers Grove-based health care company imposed a hiring freeze in April.