It costs Illinois doctors more to do business than their colleagues in most other states, but that also may mean consumers receive better quality care.

Illinois ranks No. 36 of 50 states as a place for doctors to do business, according to consumer research group WalletHub. Spokeswoman Jill Gonzalez tells WMAY Springfield that, compared with the rest of the country, doctors in Illinois pay more for a variety of things like malpractice payouts.

“It has about 30 times higher malpractice award payouts per capita than some other states on the list like Texas, North Carolina, Wisconsin,” Gonzales said.

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Gonzalez also said Illinois has higher-than-average malpractice insurance rates.

However, Gonzalez added, the higher costs doctors pay to do business in Illinois may be the reason that Illinois ranks higher in quality of care than some states with lower costs of doing business.

It’s no surprise to the Illinois State Medical Society that Illinois ranks low compared to other states.

Illinois State Medical Society President Dr. Scott Cooper said in a statement that, beyond the high malpractice costs, Illinois is 15 months delinquent in paying for care provided to state employees. Also, the costs of the growing Medicaid program are compounded by below- average reimbursements.

Additionally, doctors pay for federally imposed regulations like mandatory electronic medical records.

Illinois can be an especially frustrating place to practice medicine, Cooper said, but at the same time, doctors come to Illinois for the state’s world-class health systems, medical schools and cultural opportunities.


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