Norwegian American Hospital Continues to Engage Community as Hospital Assessment Program Redesign Legislation Is Postponed
CHICAGO (January 23, 2018)—Norwegian American Hospital is one of several Safety-Net hospitals in Illinois that could face an immediate threat in patient care and jobs by proposed cuts in funding when the Illinois Hospital Assessment Program expires on June 30, 2018. The Hospital Assessment Redesign Legislation, which was originally scheduled to be introduced today, has been postponed to a later date.
With the postponement, Norwegian American Hospital is urging communities across the city to sign a petition in an effort to stop proposed cuts in funding to Safety-Net hospitals.
“The legislative committee and the Illinois Hospital Association are working toward reaching an agreement to ensure that the hospital assessment dollars continue to support the Safety Net hospitals,” said José R. Sánchez, President/CEO of Norwegian American Hospital.
Located in Humboldt Park, a predominantly Hispanic and African-American neighborhood, Norwegian American Hospital plays a critical role in the well-being of its patients, most of whom are low-income adults and children facing major health concerns such as diabetes, heart disease, and mental health issues.
This Hospital Assessment Program enables the state to match federal Medicaid funding and access billions of dollars for health care needs. Norwegian American Hospital receives about $38 million a year from these assessments, and any changes or delays in funding, such as the program being allowed to expire, would be devastating for the hospital since approximately three out of four patients (79 % of patients) would be negatively impacted by medicaid cuts.
“Saving limbs from amputation is by far more cost-effective for our government,” said Dr. Angeles Valdes, Director of the Wound Clinic at Norwegian American Hospital. “Limb salvage saves lives when you know that in our community life is more than the sum of body parts. Life is dignity with a well-guided moral compass.”
Sánchez, Dr. Valdes and Norwegian American Hospital were featured this Sunday in the Chicago Tribune.
Norwegian American Hospital employs over 900 individuals, many of whom live in Humboldt Park, and has approximately 350 medical personnel on its staff. A reduction or change in the assessment program would put these jobs, as well as those of over 25,000 Safet-Net hospital employees across the state, in jeopardy.
DID YOU KNOW?
- Our Safety-Net family and patient-centered hospital has been serving Chicago’s West Side neighborhoods since 1894
- Our hospital serves Hispanic and African-American communities with some of the highest incidence rate of diabetes in the nation
- Our state-of-the-art Comprehensive Diabetes Center opened in the Spring of 2017
- Our Care-A-Van Program won the 2017 American Hospital Association NOVA Award
- We are ranked Best in Chicago for reduced hospital-acquired infection rates
- We have an average of 82 Emergency visits each day
- We have 1,250 employees including medical staff
- We have been the recipient of the 2015 Patient Safety Excellence Award