Smaller hospitals say state Medicaid cuts could force them to close

Above: A Loretto Hospital official said Monday that proposed cuts in Medicaid would hit the Austin hospital especially hard. | File Photo

A group of Chicago-area hospitals facing dramatic cuts in state funding under Gov. Bruce Rauner’s first budget emphasized the dire situation of community health care in a meeting Monday with legislators at Norwegian American Hospital.

Rauner’s plan to cut more than $1.5 billion from Medicaid — with over $800 million coming from hospitals — has leaders of hospitals such as Loretto in the Austin neighborhood concerned they will have to significantly limit services or just shut their doors.

Leaders from a group of “safety-net hospitals,” including Loretto, met with state legislators representing the Chicago area ahead of the passage deadline May 31. Safety-net hospitals, an Illinois Hospital Association classification, are ones where more than 50 percent of patients rely on Medicaid.

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