There is nothing growing faster in the state budget than Medicaid costs and the new federal healthcare plan will add tens of thousands more eligible citizens. Therefore, the Special Committee on Medicaid Reform on which I served had a daunting challenge to develop legislation that would reduce costs while not reducing the quality of care.
What was developed and passed by the General Assembly last week set an example for how Governor Quinn should review all of state government to reduce costs and improve operations. The committee fostered give and take from interested parties, incorporated bipartisan ideas, and reviewed best practices from other states.
As a result, taxpayers will see a savings of $800 million from the comprehensive Medicaid reforms, services are to be coordinated between agencies, and patients will benefit from care management.
Under House Bill 5420, verification of both income and Illinois residency will be required for Medicaid eligibility. Other provisions end the practice of perpetual re-enrollment, cap the All Kids program eligibility at 300 percent of the federal poverty level and move more clients into integrated care programs.
To address Medicaid fraud, the legislation also contains a civil remedy provision to go after offenders. Previously, the Illinois Department of Human and Family Services could only pursue offenders through the criminal law process.
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