SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Associated Press has learned that private Illinois nursing homes are fronting $300 million for residential care because the state is so far behind on determining whether they’re eligible for Medicaid.

Numbers compiled by state Comptroller Susana Mendoza and obtained by the AP show the state has a backlog of 15,000 people who are awaiting Medicaid eligibility determinations.

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The backlog has nearly tripled since August 2014.

A judge in a federal lawsuit ordered the state to clear up the backlog by Thursday or presume everyone is eligible and put up the state’s Medicaid share of $300 million.

Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services officials did not comment.

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They’re offering a $14 million contract to a private company to help catch up for $14 million.

 

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