Mercyhealth responds to Rep. Bustos claim

On Tuesday, Rep. Bustos claimed 57,000 Illinoisans in Winnebago County will no longer have their insurance accepted at Mercyhealth.
Published: Jul. 8, 2020 at 11:57 AM CDT|Updated: Jul. 9, 2020 at 8:43 AM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - Mercyhealth responded to Congresswoman Cheri Bustos statement on Tuesday regarding Winnebago County patients.

“Our challenges remain the same. We continue to urge the State of Illinois and Congresswoman Bustos to help us with the major State of Illinois Medicaid reimbursement issue we are facing as the largest Medicaid provider in the Congresswoman Bustos’ entire district,” Barb Bortner, Vice President of Mercyhealth said on Wednesday.

The number of Winnebago County residents affected by this change is 17,841, according to Bortner.

“Congresswoman Bustos’ number of 57,000 is inaccurate,” Bortner said. “Additionally, Mercyhealth is working with all of our payer clinical representatives to coordinate care to ensure no patient is left behind.”

On Tuesday, Rep. Bustos claimed 57,000 Illinoisans in Winnebago County will no longer have their insurance accepted at Mercyhealth.

“57,000 is the total number of Medicaid in the entire northern Illinois region. Those strictly using Mercyhealth for services is 15,000 subscribers who are potentially impacted. Many of those use Crusader Clinic for primary care and they will continue to do that. All of these subscribers will still have local quality access to care if they need procedures because they can go to SwedishAmerican, OSF and Mercyhealth (if they have Molina Medicaid),” according to Mercyhealth.

To assist in the process, those interested can call the Illinois Client Enrollment Services number at (877) 912-8880. For those under Medicaid managed care contracts that will not be accepted at Mercyhealth, those patients will still have access to quality local healthcare through Crusader as well as SwedishAmerican and OSF, according to Bortner.

“In just two weeks, more than 57,000 patients in Winnebago County will see their medical insurance refused at Mercyhealth, as Javon Bea continues to put profits over patients in the midst of a pandemic. Our state is fighting to reopen safely, and rather than help the community, Bea is putting those most in need at risk,” Congresswoman Bustos said on Tuesday. “In June, I was encouraged to see Mercyhealth reach an agreement with Molina Healthcare. However, our nation is still struggling with COVID-19, and we must make sure that all who need care can access it. I urge Javon Bea and Mercyhealth to take the next steps to make sure that IlliniCare and Meridian can continue to be accepted.”

Rep. Bustos’ office responded to Mercyhealth’s Wednesday statement.

“According to the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services, as of May 2020, a total of 57,544 Winnebago County residents were enrolled in the IlliniCare and Meridian Health Medicaid programs, which will be refused by Mercyhealth beginning July 21,” according to Rep. Bustos office.

Copyright 2020 WIFR. All rights reserved.

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