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Norwood: State’s healthcare infrastructure is “fragile”

Tuesday, Dec 15, 2015

* From the Community Behavioral Healthcare Association of Illinois…

Top Rauner Administration health officials said on Monday that the fiscal year 2017 state budget is taking shape and that they are seeking “partnerships” with community human services providers to help reshape Illinois’ health care landscape.

At the Community Behavioral Healthcare Association annual conference in Schaumburg on Monday Department of Human Services Secretary James Dimas, as part of a panel discussion, told a packed-room of non-profit behavioral healthcare providers that his department’s FY 2017 budget proposal gets delivered to the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget on Tuesday.

In December, the state entered its six-month without a FY 2016 budget.

During his speech to the assembled local behavioral healthcare non-profit leaders, Dimas criticized the “across-the-board” budget cuts approach on human services in the FY 2016 fiscal plan and suggested that FY 2017 plan will include “hard choices” to establish priorities.

In his remarks to conference attendees Dimas also recognized that DHS’ elimination of grants totaling $27 million for psychiatric care in the current budget has caused hardship for both behavioral healthcare providers and communities but pledged a new funding model to deliver care, but declined to disclose any details.

“Psychiatric care is a core service to help individuals working to recover from mental illness, and it needs to be funded,” said CBHA CEO Marvin Lindsey, following the panel presentation. “From Cairo to Rockford, 86% of Illinois community behavioral health providers have cut psychiatric care for low-income individuals who need treatment.”

Lindsey, who assumed his post in July, noted that the frozen $27 million is part of $288 million in broader behavioral healthcare funding for both community mental health and substance abuse treatment funding that has been blocked.

“Financial starvation is no longer a viable option if the state intends to maintain its commitment to those vulnerable Illinois citizens who need mental health care and drug treatment,” Lindsey said. “The budget stalemate is engulfing more community behavioral health care agencies and is pushing them towards a financial sinkhole.”

Following on Dimas’ presentation, DHS’ new mental health division director Diana Knaebe told non-profit leaders that the Rauner Administration’s plan to reshape the delivery of human services required “partnerships” between the state and community mental health providers, citing the new state law, House Bill 1, to fight the state’s heroin epidemic, as one area of “partnership.”

Health and Family Services director Felicia Norwood hit a high-note by hailing the implementation of the Affordable Care Act for providing a stable stream of behavioral health care funding and extending health care to an additional 620,000 Illinois residents through increased Medicaid enrollment. Norwood acknowledged, however, that the state’s healthcare infrastructure is “fragile.”

“The ongoing budge dispute has financially starved local behavioral healthcare providers,” Lindsey said. “A prolonged delay will only aggravate the state’s fraying health care system and infrastructure.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        

25 Comments
  1. - Anon - Tuesday, Dec 15, 15 @ 11:03 am:

    When you elect Sulla, you should expect Sulla to be Sulla.


  2. - Crispy - Tuesday, Dec 15, 15 @ 11:05 am:

    “But declined to disclose any details.” Lol.


  3. - Anon221 - Tuesday, Dec 15, 15 @ 11:05 am:

    “The ongoing budge dispute has financially starved local behavioral healthcare providers,” Lindsey said. “A prolonged delay will only aggravate the state’s fraying health care system and infrastructure.” -

    All part of the restructurin’. All part of the pain for the future generations. Happy Holidays, your State CEO. /s


  4. - Precinct Captain - Tuesday, Dec 15, 15 @ 11:07 am:

    It will be interesting to see how the governor’s office plans to unring the bell of psychiatric treatment cuts with its new funding model which, in the interests of transparency and accountability, can’t be publicly released.


  5. - RNUG - Tuesday, Dec 15, 15 @ 11:12 am:

    I must say the ‘Republicans’ have really learned how to use words like reform, reshape and partner.


  6. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Dec 15, 15 @ 11:19 am:

    –Top Rauner Administration health officials said on Monday that the fiscal year 2017 state budget is taking shape and that they are seeking “partnerships” with community human services providers to help reshape Illinois’ health care landscape–

    They said that to a roomful of psychiatric professionals. Give that one a think.

    They spread the cheery news of the FY17 budget “taking shape” and “partnerships” to a roomful of psychiatric professionals who aren’t getting paid for services because there’s no FY16 budget.

    You can’t make up stuff like that. It’s beyond Monty Python satire. It’s beyond delusional. It’s Oopy-Loopy.


  7. - Norseman - Tuesday, Dec 15, 15 @ 11:27 am:

    And what good things have occurred to make us think there will be any better prospects for an FY 17 budget than an FY 16? Hostages released? Revenue increased? FY 16 bills paid? Easy election paths for incumbents?

    If the FY 16 impasse goes to April as have been mentioned, then I don’t a solution until after January 2017. Then will see if the Rauner revolution has failed or supplanted the Dem majority. Meanwhile Rauner’s semi-Nerobefehl will have caused damage and havoc throughout Illinois.


  8. - Honeybear - Tuesday, Dec 15, 15 @ 11:29 am:

    Yeah, cutting mental health care for low income forks is working out great.s/ I can’t wait to see the ROI and all the money we’ve saved so far. In the meantime I don’t mind spending 45 minutes this morning with a man who was convinced that Federal government agents had stolen his food stamps. He brought in a letter from January 2014 as evidence. It’s not a problem really.


  9. - Frenchie Mendoza - Tuesday, Dec 15, 15 @ 11:46 am:

    Wasn’t the threat not that long ago — and I remember reading this somewhere — was that if you wanted a “partnership” you had to stay afloat — borrowing, laying off staff, etc. — and even then there was no guarantee.

    This is all very scripted — as though Rauner knows exactly what’s going to happen when — as if the “no budget for 2016″ — was the plan along in order to thin out the field.

    Even the healthcare memo from CMS a few days ago. It’s as if this has been the plan along. For a long, long time. When did all this stuff get plotted out? And why is Rauner so sure that everything is going to fall into place?


  10. - Waffle Fries - Tuesday, Dec 15, 15 @ 11:47 am:

    Since October the DHS Director has been talking partnerships and front-end investment in care…still waiting on that plan….


  11. - thoughts matter - Tuesday, Dec 15, 15 @ 12:05 pm:

    How can you do anything about a 2017 budget until you have a 2016 budget? What’s going to make a 2017 budget be more important than the Turnaround Agenda in Rauner’s eyes?


  12. - Formerly Known As... - Tuesday, Dec 15, 15 @ 12:15 pm:

    ==When you elect Sulla, you should expect Sulla to be Sulla. == cut psychiatric care for low-income individuals who need treatment==

    Between 2009 to 2012 Illinois cut $113.7 million in funding from mental health services. The state closed two inpatient mental health facilities and Chicago closed half of their mental health clinics. Cook County jail became the largest mental health provider in Illinois.

    That was Pat Quinn, Rahm Emanuel and Illinois Democrats. Not ==Sulla==.


  13. - Ghost - Tuesday, Dec 15, 15 @ 12:30 pm:

    consider the irony….

    Rauner made a fortune buying rights to cheap drugs, and raising the prices from less then a hundred to over a thousand per dose….. this is the person who is upset over healthcare costs and wants providers and their employees to cut costs and take less money for what they do, which translates to salary cuts.


  14. - WhoKnew - Tuesday, Dec 15, 15 @ 12:41 pm:

    We have done so much with so little for so long,
    that we are now capable of doing the impossible with nothing!!

    Word — the psychiatric professionals just aren’t there yet! /s


  15. - walker - Tuesday, Dec 15, 15 @ 1:09 pm:

    “We need to be partners to repair the damage we did, and continue to do to you.”

    Can they hear themselves talk?


  16. - Juvenal - Tuesday, Dec 15, 15 @ 1:27 pm:

    Rich -

    I don’t believe Dimas was ever confirmed, was he?

    He is, in fact, still secretary-designate.

    I like his pluck, but his efforts to implement zero-based budgeting will be a disaster. It cannot be done agency-by-agency.


  17. - Handle Bar Mustache - Tuesday, Dec 15, 15 @ 1:32 pm:

    ==That was Pat Quinn, Rahm Emanuel and Illinois Democrats.==

    Ask Mental Health Providers today how they feel about these characters v. Bruce Rauner.

    Ask them about the choice voters made in 2014.

    And what it has meant for the people they serve.


  18. - Formerly Known As... - Tuesday, Dec 15, 15 @ 2:31 pm:

    ==Ask Mental Health Providers today how they feel about these characters v. Bruce Rauner.==

    Ask Mental Health Patients today how they feel about those characters while receiving services in Cook County jail v. anywhere else.

    Ask them about the choices those characters made beginning in 2009.

    Ask what it has meant for them, the people being served.


  19. - zatoichi - Tuesday, Dec 15, 15 @ 2:44 pm:

    Every year the term ‘partnership’ get wheeled out. It is a shiny new talking point for the Admin, DHS Sec, and upper management bcause they turn over every couple of years. For the providers and long term DHS staff: it’s deja vu again for the 20th time. Been there, heard that. Someday the walk will equal the talk. Take away psychiatric leadership dollars so mental health centers cannot have psychiatrists available. That’s partnership?


  20. - Crispy - Tuesday, Dec 15, 15 @ 2:54 pm:

    @Frenchie M: =This is all very scripted — as though Rauner knows exactly what’s going to happen when — as if the “no budget for 2016″ — was the plan along in order to thin out the field.=

    Yeah. And if this is the case, then how is this not a deliberate attempt to sabotage state government, and a willful dereliction of oath-sworn (state) constitutional duties on the part of the “planner”? Gee, in a =real= place, it might even warrant consideration of the dreaded “I”-word. If only there were proof and political will. …

    And really–how many mentally I’ll people can “wait till the next election”?


  21. - Crispy - Tuesday, Dec 15, 15 @ 2:57 pm:

    Oops–I meant “mentally ill”! (That was not a Freudian slip; that was not a Freudian slip. …)


  22. - @MisterJayEm - Tuesday, Dec 15, 15 @ 3:07 pm:

    “Between 2009 to 2012 Illinois cut $113.7 million in funding from mental health services.”

    And in 2015, Gov. Bruce Rauner reduced the Psychiatric Leadership Capacity Grant — it helped cover the cost of employing a psychiatrist at Illinois community mental health centers — from $27 million to ZERO.
    http://wuis.org/post/illinois-issues-mental-health-care-cuts-threaten-access-0

    – MrJM


  23. - BobO - Tuesday, Dec 15, 15 @ 3:28 pm:

    Seems that the “Golden Rule” will soon be the mantra as the Human Services “Partnerships” become established.

    Those with the gold(insurance companies) get to make the rules (Partnerships)! Mental health and other disability charities will be kicked out of this sandbox!


  24. - Formerly Known As... - Tuesday, Dec 15, 15 @ 3:49 pm:

    ==from $27 million to ZERO==

    Cut another $1.5 Mill year, close a mental health center next year, incarcerate more people instead of providing them mental health services, and he should be par for the course under Quinn and the Dem GA then?

    Rauner is # on MH imho, but he is less harmful than Quinn and the Democrats are. They have created what NAMI in May called a ==crisis==. If Rauner is ==Sulla== on MH, the Democrats are Nero or worse.


  25. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Dec 15, 15 @ 8:44 pm:

    The only psychiatric treatment needed here is Rauner and his budget director on causing the fragile landscape in the first place. Your going to see more people in the streets, just depends on how much money changes hands to who gets awarded state contracts. I have no faith in this administration- you have no housing at it is to begin with…


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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