Dr. David Gill met today with Chief Executive Officers from critical access hospitals to discuss safeguarding vital services at their facilities and seek their ideas on the best solutions to keep their doors open. The Bloomington emergency room physician is the Democratic nominee for U.S. Congress in Illinois' 13th District.
Gill Round table participants included: Dan Perryman, CEO St. Francis Hospital; Rex Brown, CEO Hillsboro Area Hospital, Trina Casner, CEO Pana Community Hospital and Susan Campbell, CEO Community Memorial Hospital. Later, Dr. Gill toured Macoupin County's Maple Street Clinic to see first hand the operations of Gillespie's community health facility. This visit to the Gillespie Clinic follows Gill's late-July tours of Taylorville Memorial Hospital and Pana Community Hospital.
"These leaders are on the front lines keeping critical access hospitals open in our smaller towns and rural communities, " Dr. Gill stated. "I think it's vital to hear their ideas and their solutions for maintaining access to healthcare and jobs for people across the new 13th congressional district."
"I've worked as a physician and board chairman in John Warner Hospital in Clinton. I know how important these critical access hospitals are to our communities," Gill continued. "The politicians in Washington don't get it. They want to make cuts to Medicare and Medicaid that have dire consequences for our downstate communities. These are literally life or death decisions for thousands of our citizens. I won't stand for it."
There are 51 critical access hospitals in Illinois with nine located in the 13th Congressional District. 75% of their funding comes from Medicare and Medicaid.
"These critical access hospitals are vital institutions that give residents the care they need close to home," said Dr. Gill. "Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan's budget could decimate critical access hospitals by slashing the Medicare and Medicaid funding that helps keep their doors open."
Not only do the hospitals directly employ health service providers, but recent major building projects at critical access hospitals in the district have also created building and construction jobs. A 2% cut in Medicare payments could cost a critical access hospital $500,000.
"As an ER doctor, I know how important it is for families to have quick access to quality care," Dr. Gill concluded. "Parents shouldn't have to drive their injured child 45 minutes in an emergency. I'll stand up to the politicians and with my neighbors in the 13th district in the fight to protect critical access hospital funding."