Hidden numbers in Illinois state unpaid bills to med. providers


CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) - In Illinois, even the backlog of unpaid bills has a backlog.

State comptroller records don't provide an accurate picture of how much is owed to medical providers doing business with the state. That's because the Department of Healthcare and Family Services is so short of money that it isn't even sending bills to the comptroller's office where they would be added to Illinois' vast backlog.

Spokesman Mike Claffey says the department has about $1.9 billion worth of unpaid bills it hasn't submitted to the comptroller.

The Champaign County Nursing Home was waiting on nearly $3.3 million as of last month, but records of unpaid bills at the Illinois comptroller's office say the facility is owed only $47,000.

That gap is typical for medical providers doing business with Illinois these days.