Updated: May 21
We won’t go into the now viral article about the questions surrounded Governor Pritzker‘s connections to companies making COVID-19 tests, but this is a VERY quick follow up to it. This just focuses on the IL Medicaid portion with Pathgroup.
Pritzker seated in early 2019. In July of 2019:
In short, he vetoed a bill that would have required he have to ask the general assembly for a Medicaid waiver ($$$).
Ok. Fast forward.
March 14, 2020:
Illinois is asking the federal government for some of the funding opened up by Friday’s federal state-of-emergency declaration to expand Medicaid coverage during the coronavirus outbreak.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced that the state will file a federal waiver requesting those funds.
“During this crisis my administration is working to ensure that those who fear they may be getting sick have access to the testing and treatment that they need without being saddled with costly medical bills for their care,” Pritzker said.
If approved, the federal waiver will expand Medicaid services to include more medical providers, increased access across the state and greater services to vulnerable populations, Pritzker said.
March 16, 2020
March 24, 2020
The federal government has approved Illinois’ application to expand access to health care as the coronavirus spreads.
The federal waiver aims to help the state to better care for the 3 million Illinoisans on Medicaid, the government-run program for the poor and disabled, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services said in a statement.
The agency said it has approved 13 state Medicaid waivers, effective March 1 through the termination of the public health emergency, under Section 1135 of the Social Security Act.
The waivers enable states to temporarily suspend requirements around prior authorization, in which doctors obtain approval from insurers before providing medical care, and more quickly enroll new or out-of-state health care providers, among other changes to Medicaid programs, according to the statement.
April 1, 2020
Gov. JB Pritzker is taking full advantage of new flexibilities provided under the Medicaid program to expand access to care to combat the new coronavirus crisis.
Most recently, his administration submitted an 1115 waiver which would streamline the application process and allow Medicaid to cover more COVID-19 related services.
Last week, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services signed off on the state’s emergency 1135 waiver request, easing regulations for out-of-state providers, suspending prior authorization requirements and authorizing reimbursement for services at unlicensed facilities.
And this is interesing, go back up to 3/16/20
In some instances, the state has gotten ahead of the federal government, telling providers to start services while it pursued approval. On March 16, it said providers should start covering testing and treatment for COVID-19 for the uninsured as well as Medicaid members. Medicaid coverage for COVID-19 treatments for the uninsured is among the provisions included in the state’s 1115 waiver, which it submitted March 26.
Governor Pritzker’s statement today, May 18th
Even in a blind trust, he would still “profit”, but “blindly” as he isn’t making decisions personally. But isn’t that only his personal investments he did that with , not ones owned/controlled by his immediate family?.....
Update May 19 (regarding state contracts):
So, the big question now is, was Pathgroup involved since March in testing Medicaid patients for COVID-19 since it (IL Medicaid) was expanded in part thanks to the federal government?