State Representative Tom Demmer (R-Dixon) joined a bipartisan and bicameral group of lawmakers on Monday as Governor JB Pritzker signed Medicaid reform legislation that will improve transparency, access, and the overall effectiveness of Illinois’ health care system. Demmer, the House Republicans’ leading voice on health care issues, was the Chief House Co-Sponsor of the bill.
“I’ve long believed that our best legislation comes from bipartisanship, and SB 1321 is the product of a dedicated bipartisan work group who listened to a wide range of concerns and suggestions,”said Demmer. “Together we worked to find solutions and make progress toward improving the Medicaid program that serves millions of Illinoisans. I appreciate the work from the Governor’s office, state agencies, and my fellow legislators on this important bill.”
Specifically, SB 1321 enables key state agencies, including the Department on Aging, Department of Healthcare and Family Services, Department of Human Services and Department of Innovation and Technology, to lead one of the most aggressive cross-agency efforts in Illinois history to expand access to health care for low-income Illinoisans, and eliminate a large application backlog. The new law also centralizes claims from providers to Managed Care Organizations (MCOs) in order to increase transparency and accountability.
Additionally, SB 1321 requires MCOs to make timely payments within 30 days and make expedited payments to health care providers serving large Medicaid populations, including long-term care facilities where more than 80 percent of residents receive Medicaid, safety-net hospitals and government-owned providers. The new law also mandates a full review of the Medicaid redetermination process to identify changes that will allow more patients to be renewed automatically and ensure patients are maintaining the highest continuum of care possible.
“More than three million Illinoisans rely on Medicaid to meet their health care needs, and these reforms will go far in addressing access and adequacy issues,” Demmer added. “I was proud to be a part of the work group that brought these reforms forward.”