Chicago children's hospitals seeking Indiana payment boost

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Chicago hospitals maintain they are being shortchanged by what Indiana's Medicaid program pays for the treatment of severely ill or injured children at out-of-state hospitals.

Dr. John Cunningham of the University of Chicago's Comer Children's Hospital told an Indiana legislative committee that it was paid some $4 million less last year than it would have received if it was an Indiana hospital.

Both Comer and Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago say nearly all Hoosier children that they treat come from northwestern Indiana, since they are much closer than the nearest comparable Indiana children's hospital in Indianapolis.

The (Northwest Indiana) Times reports Indiana lawmakers earlier this year considered allowing higher Medicaid payments to Comer, but that failed because of questions over whether to treat payments to all out-of-state hospitals equally.