Governor Quinn’s FY13 Budget Speech Calls for Medicaid Cuts, Restructuring

In his speech to outline the fiscal year 2013 budget, Goveor Pat Quinn focused on a plan to restructure Medicaid and reduce its expenditures by $2.7 billion in the coming year. His goal is to overhaul the “vitally important” program, which he described as “on the brink of collapse.”

The restructuring will seek the “right combination of liability reductions, modeized eligibility standards, utilization controls, rate reduction, acceleration of integrated managed care, and coordination of long-term programs in order to properly manage Medicaid spending,” he said, and bring it in line with appropriations.

The Medicaid working group tasked with the restructuring consists of Sen. Heather Steans, Sen. Dale Righter, Rep. Sara Feigenholtz, and Rep. Patti Bellock, along with Healthcare and Family Services Director Julie Hamos.

View Gov. Quinn’s February 22 Budget Address

In response to Quinn’s planned cuts, ICEP issued a press release to draw attention to the unique position of emergency physicians and Medicaid patients. The press release notes:

“Goveor Quinn announced massive cuts to Illinois’ Medicaid program that will place Illinois emergency departments and the patients they serve at risk.

“The reimbursement cuts are expected to drive many more primary care physicians away from accepting Medicaid patients. With fewer available options, Medicaid patients will increasingly rely on emergency departments for their basic health care needs as well as emergency needs. This limits the capability of emergency departments to serve all patients and results in extended wait times and overcrowding.”

The press release discussed EMTALA law to drive home the point that unlike other specialties, emergency physicians cannot limit the number of Medicaid patients they see.
ICEP plans to work with its lobbyists to educate the state about the necessity of adhering to the prudent layperson standard. Both nationally and in Illinois, the prudent layperson standard applies to Medicaid managed care organizations.

View Full ICEP Medicaid Cuts Press Release

“As emergency physicians, we are striving to save the safety net created by emergency departments and continue to provide care for all patients, including Medicaid patients,” Dr. Wahl said in the press release. “The proposed cuts make this task exponentially harder — and make it imperative that the prudent layperson standard is preserved when cuts are implemented.”

ICEP and its lobbyists are following the issue closely and await specific details about eligibility, services, utilization, and payments as they will affect emergency medicine. Watch your email, the ICEP Facebook page, and for more information as it becomes available.

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ICEP - Illinois College of Emergency Physicians
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