1115 behavioral waiver approved at last
As you may know, the Department of Healthcare and Family Services was notified on May 7 that its section 1115 Medicaid behavioral health waiver had finally been approved. The agency announced the program - called the Better Care Illinois Behavioral Health Initiative - the same day
The waiver, in the works since early 2016, was designed to support Medicaid beneficiaries with substance use disorders (SUD) and mental health challenges while also reigning in the costs associated with their treatment. As proposal documents indicated, beneficiaries with behavioral needs account for almost 60% of the program's spending.
Of the 10 pilots in the waiver, only SUD residential and inpatient treatment will start on July 1. This pilot will be statewide, and the state cannot institute annual enrollment limits.
The other pilots are targeted to various beneficiary groups with or affected by opioid/substance use disorder (OUD/SUD), crisis intervention for individuals experiencing a psychiatric crisis and intensive in-home services to stabilize behaviors that may lead to crisis. Details and start dates for these nine pilots have not been announced.
Better Care Illinois Behavioral Health Initiative's 10 pilots:
● Residential and Inpatient Treatment for Individuals with SUD
● Clinically Managed Withdrawal Management Services
● SUD Case Management (diversion from the criminal justice system)
● Peer Recovery Support Services
● Crisis Intervention Services (ages 6-64 experiencing a psychiatric crisis)
● Evidence-based Home Visiting Services (mothers during 60 days postpartum whose newborn has withdrawal symptoms and children up to age 5 born with withdrawal symptoms)
● Assistance in Community Integration Services
● Supported Employment Services
● Intensive In-Home Services (ages 3-21)
● Respite Services (ages 3-21 whose families need relief
The program would "help Illinois become a leader in integrating physical and behavioral health services for some of our most vulnerable residents," said HFS Director Felicia Norwood. "We have an opportunity to transform lives and be better stewards of taxpayer resources."