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State

New Cook County Health CEO searching for savings

CHICAGO — A published report says the new CEO of Cook County's health system has a big job ahead: finding $67 million in savings to help erase a projected year-end budget deficit.

Dr. John Jay Shannon was named CEO of Cook County Health and Hospitals System last month. The Chicago-based system is one of the nation's biggest public hospital networks.

Crain's Chicago Business reports most of the projected budget shortage stems from CountyCare, the county's new Medicaid managed care program.

Shannon tells the business publication there were "unrealistic expectations" that CountyCare would be a "profit center" for the county. His challenge is to rein in the costs of caring for the estimated 95,000 people enrolled in CountyCare through more preventive care, less emergency room care and mail-order medications for chronic illnesses.

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