Deadbeat Illinois: Lifesaving services suffer state's delays

Monday, June 24, 2013

GALESBURG — Andy Schultz’s ambulance service in Rockford was once called by a hospital two hours away to see if he would transport a public aid patient.
Shultz wasn’t the hospital’s first choice, either; a series of other, nearer services had turned down the request. Because of the state’s reputation for delayed payments and because of the low Medicaid payment rate, Schultz also had to say no.
“The amount of money I’d get paid wouldn’t cover my gas,” he said. “We will only take public aid patients on contracted services.”
ATS Medical Services is one of many ambulance services that has suffered from the state’s deadbeat status. Services, particularly those in areas with a high concentration of public aid patients, can be months behind in reimbursements from the state.
Schultz owns 17 medical services in seven states, from red states like South Carolina to blue states like New York, and said the problem is unique to Illinois