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Are workers' compensation payments endangered by state debt?

Due to the weak economy and the still continuing aftershocks of the 2008 housing crisis, many state governments are having trouble paying their bills. The State of Illinois is no exception as its overdue bills amounted to $3. 8 billion at the end of fiscal 2011, which fell on June 30. As a result, the ramifications for those receiving workers' compensation may be huge.

A recent news report highlighted how the state's budget difficulties are affecting health care centers such as one managed by Quincy Medical Group. At the moment, their health care center is reportedly owed $7 million by the state. They are also far from alone. Blessing Hospital, also headquartered in Quincy, is purportedly owed $8 million for Medicaid services.

To cope with the back-due payments, health care centers are holding back on new hires and passing on the costs to those who are insured when possible. However, they may soon have to start holding back on some services as well. In particular, physicians at Quincy Medical Group may stop taking workers' compensation cases as payments have become excessively tardy.

As hospitals and Illinois state government struggle over payments, injured employees may well benefit from the advice of an experienced attorney. The attorney may be able to assist with filing the proper documentation and ensure the employee receives the full amount of compensation that they deserve. In cases where treatment or compensation is wrongfully withheld, the attorney may also be able to fight for the compensation that the worker deserves.

Source: The Quincy Herald Whig, "Overdue payments from state make life 'challenging' for hospitals," Steve Eighinger, Oct 15, 2011

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Hannigan & Botha, Ltd.
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