From AP - News Headlines -

Christie Clinic Settles with State Over Medicaid Patient Lawsuit

Christie Clinic has joined Carle Clinic in agreeing to increase the number of Medicaid patients it accepts for treatment.

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan sued the two Champaign-Urbana medical clinics two years ago - claiming they conspired illegally to stop accepting new Medicaid patients. Carle settled with the state last December. And late yesterday (Monday), the attorney general's office announced Christie had done the same.

Under the settlement, Christie Clinic will increase the number of Medicaid patients it takes in for primary health care to 85-hundred over the next three years. And those patients can't be turned away for existing medical debt for a four-year period prior to the state's lawsuit --- that's when the attorney general says qualified Medicaid patients were turned away. Christie will also make payments to Frances Nelson Health Center and the Champaign Urbana Public Health District to help pay for medical and dental care for low-income patients.

Christie spokeswoman Karen Blatzer denies that happened, and she said the suit was settled to curb costs. "We don't want the perception to be that we are guilty. But we feel that it is more important to provide the health care our community needs, and being involved in this lawsuit was expensive and very distracting," Blatzer said.

Blatzer did not know how much the additional Medicaid patient load would cost Christie. The clinic has agreed to increase its Medicaid patient rolls to 85-hundred by 2012.

Blatzer says the payments to Frances Nelson Health Center and the Champaign Urbana Public Health District equal when Christie has given to them in the past.