The state is pushing ahead on government reform to improve state programs for behavioral healthcare. On Oct. 13, the Rauner Administration officially submitted a Medicaid waiver proposal to the federal government that will allow Illinois to use innovative health strategies for better coordination and integrated care, and will address behavior health and substance abuse treatment.
The intent of the waiver is to help individuals by ensuring they receive the most appropriate treatment options in the most beneficial setting at the right time. According to a media statement released by the Governor’s office, historically, the state has spent most of its resources—tens of billions of dollars—on a broken patchwork of reactive, expensive, and ineffective interventions.
This waiver allows Illinois to take a holistic look at the individual and better coordinate their care across all state agencies. The changes the Administration is seeking will allow the State to intervene earlier and increase access to services, leading to more stability and a more productive life.
The state’s waiver asks to use $2.7 billion in federal Medicaid funds to invest in early interventions and infrastructure over the next five years to support and improve the quality of care, while avoiding more costly traditional methods of admissions and treatment in institutional settings.
The waiver was developed by the Governor’s Office in cooperation with 12 state agencies and community organizations and representatives. Input was sought from more than 2,000 stakeholders and incorporated feedback from approximately 200 written responses. The effort also involved a number of public hearings.