House Speaker Michael J. Madigan issued the following statement Tuesday:
“After six months of negotiation with the Rauner Administration, House Democrats are preparing to advance a framework for an update of the Illinois hospital assessment program, which must receive federal approval before June 30, 2018. Today, state Rep. Greg Harris filed the amendment to Senate Bill 1773.
“This amendment includes the work of a bipartisan, bicameral working group that has deliberated in good faith to update the hospital assessment program. It also includes some elements still under discussion which will be finalized in coming days. The working group deserves our thanks for this collaboration that is aimed at ensuring the state secures these resources that are vital for our hospitals.
“It has been the goal of House Democrats to push the administration toward an update that expands access to care in underserved communities of color and rural communities alike. The plan we are introducing reflects this commitment by taking steps to help secure hundreds of millions of dollars in new federal funds, and securing both safety net hospitals and rural critical care hospitals.
“As has been our priority, the plan also contains an appeal process for provider claims, and new transparency and accountability measures which recent audit findings show are urgently needed. Despite the Rauner Administration’s failure to account for billions of dollars in claims paid, claims denied, administrative costs, and other basic quality metrics needed to ensure patients are receiving quality care, they continue to operate without oversight. The administration unilaterally handed out some of the largest state contracts in state history to large insurance companies. While these contracts did not require that the administration be held accountable for mistakes within the system, we are correcting that in this bill. Our bill will increase transparency and hold the administration accountable for maintaining accurate records of all receipts of payments. Under our plan, all future purchases of care would also require full and proper vetting as laid out in the state’s procurement code.
“While the administration has not provided sufficient time for Managed Care Organizations to develop networks in the new markets they will be covering, we incentivize hospitals to participate in the Medicaid program, which increases access and helps reduce the overall cost of the program because patients are given a choice.
“This plan is a critical step toward a state health care policy that is guided by what is in the best interests of patients and taxpayers, not big insurance companies and the politically connected.”