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Rep. Cheri Bustos joins Rockford leaders to discuss Mercyhealth Rockton Avenue mental health unit closure

Published: Oct. 17, 2020 at 11:38 PM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - Representative Cheri Bustos joins Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara and State Representative Maurice West to discuss the closure of Mercyhealth’s mental health unit at its Rockton Avenue campus.

Standing outside the building on Saturday, all three government leaders spoke about the impact its constituents face due to its removal.

In letters written to Mercyhealth CEO Javon Bea, as well as Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Bustos highlighted the effects of the closure and asks for potential solutions.

“Right now, they’ve made a decision to turn away 59,000 patients from their care. And just next week, that number will grow when Javon Bea makes a decision to turn away even more patients,” said Rep. Bustos.

Mercyhealth released a statement in response to the news conference saying, in part:

“We clearly communicated our intentions with regard to IlliniCare and Meridian in an announcement last April. We gave people covered by those Medicaid insurance programs 90 days - six months in the case of Blue Cross Blue Shield Illinois - to be reassigned to new providers. After that announcement we did reach an agreement with Molina. Since then, we have worked hard to make sure the majority of Medicaid patients were either reassigned to other healthcare providers or transitioned to our MCO partner Molina, which thousands already have. [...] We would welcome the help of Mayor McNamara, State Representative West and Congresswoman Bustos in solving the state’s Medicaid problems so that we can develop similar partnerships with the other Medicaid providers.”

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