Reforming Medicaid

On Oct. 13, the Gov. Rauner’s Administration officially submitted a Medicaid waiver proposal to the federal government to improve state programs for behavioral healthcare. 

“Illinois is transforming the way we provide behavioral and mental health care services to our residents,” Gov. Rauner said. “This waiver focuses on helping the whole person by getting the right services to the right person in the right setting at the right time.” 

A major part of the waiver, which has bipartisan support, is a request to accelerate the shift in care from institutions to community settings. It’s the goal of the waiver change to allow the state to intervene earlier with those needing help and provide increased access to healthcare services. 

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. The effort also involved a number of public hearings.

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