Chesterton Tribune



Soliday trauma center bill advances to Senate

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The House of Representatives voted in favor of State Rep. Ed Soliday’s (R-Valparaiso) legislation to ensure Medicaid-covered treatment for Northwest Indiana’s premature babies and seriously ill children.

According to Soliday, many people in Northwest Indiana depend on the University of Chicago Medical Center because the region does not have its own Level I trauma center. The hospital is just west of the Indiana state line, and Soliday said families utilize this location to obtain life-saving emergency treatment sooner rather than making the three-hour drive to Indianapolis-based trauma centers.

“When a child from our area is in need of life-saving care, there may not be time to transport them to an appropriate Indianapolis hospital,” Soliday said. “We’re fortunate to have such an exceptional trauma center so close to our region.”

Currently, Indiana reimburses the University of Chicago at the out-of-state Medicaid rate, which is less than the in-state rate. Under Soliday’s legislation, reimbursements would be issued at the same rate as in-state hospitals. Soliday said this would ensure Northwest Indiana patients ages six and younger could continue to receive the emergency care they need.

“The University of Chicago provides excellent care for Northwest Indiana children in urgent need of treatment,” Soliday said. “By reimbursing the Chicago hospital the same as we would any other Indiana facility, Region parents and their children can continue receiving quality treatment without having to travel hours from home.”

Soliday said his legislation would repay the University of Chicago through a pilot program established by the Family and Social Services Administration. Data would be collected to determine whether out-of-state Medicaid reimbursement should be expanded to other regions of the state.

House Bill 1238 now moves to the Senate for consideration. To learn more, visit


Posted 2/19/2019




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