SPRINGFIELD, ILL. (KMOX) – Among those breathing a sigh of relief that Illinois finally has a budget are healthcare providers.

Gateway Regional Medical Center CEO Ed Cunningham says the Granite City Hospital will now begin receiving payments for the care it’s been providing on a more timely basis. He says that’s even more significant for smaller providers who haven’t been paid for up to two years.

“In some cases, not for the hospital, but for some of the small dentists and other type things, they don’t have coverage because the small employers can’t afford to carry that debt for two years,” he says.

Cunningham says those providers had to stop taking patients with state insurance, so those patients would often wind up in emergency rooms, which is more costly for everyone.

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