aquino 041019SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Omar Aquino (D-Chicago) applauds the signing of legislation aimed at providing funding to hospitals during the COVID-19 pandemic. The new law brings an additional $450 million to safety-net hospitals, prioritizing the institutions that serve a high number of Medicaid patients.

“I thank Governor J.B. Pritzker for signing this legislation that brings certainty to health care providers and the low-income clients they serve,” Aquino said. “The additional money will be vital to communities that have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.”

The law also increases Medicaid rates for physician services to $150 million annually, an effort to incentivize more health care providers to see low-income Medicaid patients. Under the plan, 24 Safety-Net Hospitals will receive an additional $81.2 million, and 51 Critical Access Hospitals will receive an additional $14 million.

“In a time of crisis, we should respond by protecting our most vulnerable,” Aquino said. “Many Black and Brown residents are essential workers, putting them at a higher risk of being exposed to COVID-19. These Illinoisans need to know that if they need to seek care, there will be properly equipped hospitals in their communities,” Aquino said.

The Hospital Assessment Program is a $3.8 billion program that will bring $450 million in additional funding to health institutions that care for underserved clients and leverage $250 million federal dollars for the state.