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 show the state has a backlog of 15,000 people who are awaiting Medicaid eligibility determinations. 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. They're offering a $14 million contract to a private company to help catch up for $14 million.