Kevin Ryan Quoted in Article “Mission Helps Keep La Rabida Expansion on Track”

Chicago Tribune

Kevin Ryan, a Member of the Firm in the Health Care and Life Sciences practice, in the Chicago office, was quoted in an article titled "Mission Helps Keep La Rabida Expansion on Track."

Following is an excerpt:

Wedged between Lake Michigan and a small boat harbor in the far reaches of Jackson Park on the city's South Side, La Rabida Children's Hospital is all on its own, in more ways than one. ?...

Lacking the deep pockets and the high-tech services that provide more lucrative returns to its better-known competitors, La Rabida relies on about $16.4 million in annual subsidies from the state Medicaid program to stay afloat.

Whether those payments, offered to certain hospitals in exchange for treating a high percentage of Medicaid patients, will continue — at least at that rate — is an open question. Amid a massive upheaval in the federal health care system and growing pressure on the cash-strapped state Medicaid program, hospitals and other providers are bracing for a new era of relative austerity. ?...

Even so, industry experts say, the road ahead for smaller, independent hospitals like La Rabida that serve a large percentage of Medicaid patients is a challenging one. That's largely because they have a limited ability to offset a decline in reimbursement that states like Illinois could be forced to implement amid budget pressure.

As some states, including Illinois, prepare to expand Medicaid rolls as part of the implementation of the federal Affordable Care Act, "there are going to be changes in reimbursement," said Kevin Ryan, a Chicago-based health care attorney with Epstein Becker & Green.

"Considering the economic challenges the state already faces, I don't think it would be a surprise to anyone" if payments to hospitals decline, because the state will have to come up with more money to cover additional people, Ryan said.