Illinois Ordered to Cough Up More in Medicaid Payments

Weeks after a judge ordered the state of Illinois to pay its Medicaid bills to health care providers, the same judge has ruled that the Prairie State must cough up more than half a billion dollars in Medicaid payments per month.

Illinois must pay $586 million per month to Medicaid providers to ensure continued care for beneficiaries, a U.S. judge ruled on June 30. The state has an unpaid backlog of more than $3 billion in Medicaid payments, Reuters reported. In an effort to pay providers sooner, the judge also ruled that Illinois must pay $2 billion during the fiscal year, which began July 1.

The state has failed to pay providers their Medicaid reimbursements on time as a result of a budget impasse that has gridlocked the state for more than two years. While providers may soon expect a payday, State Comptroller Susana Mendoza said the ruling “takes the state’s finances from horrific to catastrophic.”

The judgment came just before state legislators made their most recent push to approve a state budget. State senators approved a budget on July 2, before it was vetoed by Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner. The Senate then overrode the veto with three-fifths of members voting in approval of the budget, and the House will vote on the budget with a similar override on July 6.

The budget stalemate has left some home health care providers with Medicaid services in the state in the crosshairs. Addus Homecare (Nasdaq: ADUS), which was headquartered in Illinois for decades before moving to Frisco, Texas, was hit particularly hard by the budget debacle in Illinois, where more than half of the company’s net service revenue comes from.

Written by Amy Baxter