(SPRINGFIELD) The Associated Press has learned that private Illinois nursing homes are fronting $300 million for residential care because the state is so far behind on determining whether they’re eligible for Medicaid. Numbers compiled by State Comptroller Susana Mendoza show the state has a backlog of 15,000 people who are awaiting Medicaid eligibility determinations, a backlog that has nearly tripled since August 2014. A judge in a federal lawsuit ordered the state to clear up the backlog by yesterday or presume that everyone is eligible and put up the state’s Medicaid share of $300 million. The Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services is offering a $14 million contract to a private company to help catch up.
(SPRINGFIELD) Health and Safety Officials are reminding folks to be extra alert this weekend. Weather-wise, the Excessive Heat Warning today through Sunday is cause enough to use common sense while outside. If in the direct sunlight, take plenty of breaks in the shade, wear lose fitted clothing, and drink plenty of cool water, plus make sure our elderly neighbors and relatives are checked on frequently. Safety-wise, leave the 4th of July fireworks to those licensed to do so. An estimated 12,900 people suffered fireworks-related injuries last year with sparklers being the number one cause, most of which involved children. Use some common sense out there and simply attend a fireworks display in your region.