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House passes bill to help seriously ill infants, children in NW Indiana

Quality medical treatment for seriously ill infants and children in Northwest Indiana would be more accessible through legislation co-authored by State Rep. Mara Candelaria Reardon (D-Munster).

House Bill 1238 would remove potential barriers that prevent children in Northwest Indiana from receiving life-saving treatment through the University of Chicago’s Comer Children’s Hospital. This would be done through a fair and equitable reimbursement process that would allow the children’s hospital in Chicago to be paid the same as an Indiana provider.

“Since there is no neo-natal specialty care for sick premature babies in Northwest Indiana, they now can seek care at the Comer Hospital,” Candelaria Reardon said. “Often these children are hospitalized for longer than six months. The only other option available to them in Indiana is a three-hour drive to the Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis. Having to place a child at Riley is not in the best interest of the child or their family, who already are suffering greatly.”

The measure requires that Indiana’s Medicaid program pay the same rates for care at the University of Chicago that it does at Riley.

“It makes sense to me that we should make it as easy as possible for families to pursue the best possible treatment for a child within a reasonable distance from home,” Candelaria Reardon said. “This legislation provides a sensible option in difficult times.”

The measure now moves to the Senate for consideration.

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