Re­port on Illi­nois hos­pi­tals shows their eco­nomic im­pact, strug­gles

Modern Healthcare - - REGIONAL NEWS - —Rachel Lan­den

Illi­nois’ nearly 50 health sys­tems and more than 200 hos­pi­tals con­trib­ute $83.4 bil­lion an­nu­ally to the state’s econ­omy, ac­cord­ing to a re­port is­sued last week by the Illi­nois Hospi­tal As­so­ci­a­tion. Look­ing at their fi­nan­cial health, how­ever, shows 39% of Illi­nois hos­pi­tals op­er­ated in the red dur­ing the past two years, the re­port noted.

Medi­care and Med­i­caid pay­ment cuts have con­trib­uted to Illi­nois hos­pi­tals’ fi­nan­cial chal­lenges. Since 2011, the state has seen more than $380 mil­lion in Med­i­caid re­duc­tions, while in the past decade, Medi­care pay­ments have dropped by about $11 bil­lion.

How­ever, the re­port also found that even as Illi­nois lost 217,300 jobs be­tween 2000 and 2013, it gained 115,600 health­care po­si­tions. One of ev­ery 10 jobs in Illi­nois is in the health­care sec­tor, with hos­pi­tals and health sys­tems gen­er­at­ing close to 450,000 di­rect and in­di­rect jobs.

Also, Illi­nois hos­pi­tals ac­count for $5.2 bil­lion in com­mu­nity con­tri­bu­tions, which in­cludes $704 mil­lion in char­ity care, the un­re­im­bursed cost of train­ing med­i­cal pro­fes­sion­als, re­search not cov­ered by grants and bad-debt for­give­ness, ac­cord­ing to the re­port.

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