Charity Care Budgeted at $312M, South Side Services Strengthened

Cook County Health (CCH) interim CEO, Debra D. Carey, submitted the health system’s preliminary Fiscal Year 2021 (FY2021) budget to the CCH Board today.

The $3.4B proposed budget closes a $187M gap announced in June while strengthening health services on the south side. The budget includes a tax allocation from Cook County of $112.7M, up from $83M this year, to carry out mandated correctional health and public health services. CCH generates 97% of its operating revenues from patient fees, grants and other revenues.

“As the interim CEO, it is my responsibility to present a budget that is balanced and that preserves the services we believe are most important to the communities we serve. In the end, we looked at opportunities to consolidate rather than eliminate, relocate rather than reduce – all while remaining fiscally responsible,” said Carey.

Some of the key components of the budget include:

  • Public Health and Correctional Health budgets will increase to ensure continued responsiveness to the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • A new 12-chair outpatient dialysis center at Provident;
  • A new lifestyle center at Provident that will provide services to patients with diabetes and other chronic diseases which exist at a disproportionate rate on the south side;
  • Expanding surgical procedures at Provident;
  • Staffing to inpatient volumes at Provident where the Average Daily Census for the past year has been 11 patients;
  • Transitioning the Provident emergency room to a 24/7 standby ED to better reflect the low acuity of the patients it serves;
  • Consolidating outpatient services at Near South and Woodlawn clinics into Sengstacke Health Center at Provident to offer more services in a single location;
  • Relocation of PT/OT to new CCH space inside Harrison Square (the old Cook County Hospital); and
  • Suspension of the general pediatric inpatient unit at Stroger due to low volumes. Average Daily Census in general pediatrics for last year is 1.8. Pediatric ICU and Neonatal ICU services will remain.

The health system also expects to spend $312M on charity care next year or $26M every month.

“Charity care is core to the mission of Cook County Health, but it is also fundamental to addressing health disparities. Over the past few months, many commitments, resolutions and promises have been made during a long-overdue conversation in this country about health and racial equity. Providing broader access to care for the uninsured is a direct action the health community can take,” said Carey.

Membership in CountyCare, CCH’s Medicaid managed care health plan, is expected to average 356,000 in FY2021, generating more than $2.2 billion in revenue. CountyCare revenue covers the cost of claims for care rendered to its members by both CCH and non-CCH providers. CountyCare is the largest Medicaid managed care plan in Cook County.

The budget presentation can be found here. Public hearings are scheduled for September 1, 2020, at 9 a.m. and September 9, 2020 at 6 p.m. For instructions on submitting testimony at one of the public hearings, please visit

Following approval of the budget, expected on September 11, 2020, the proposed FY2021 budget will be submitted to the Cook County Board of Commissioners for inclusion into the President’s FY2021 budget recommendation. The FY2021 fiscal year begins on December 1, 2020.


NOTE: A media availability will be held via WebEx at 1 p.m. on Friday, August 28, 2020. Please email Deb Song, Director of Public Affairs, at for the link.


CCH FY2021 Proposed Preliminary Budget

Deb Song, Director of Public Affairs