ILLINOIS (KFVS) - Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner in conjunction with Illinois Healthcare and Family Services Director, Felicia Norwood and Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, Director George Sheldon announced on Monday, February 27 that Illinois will begin taking steps to change its Medicaid managed care program.
The new program is scheduled to begin January 1, 2018.
The administrators goal is to offer better care at sustainable costs, to cover more beneficiaries, strengthen quality control and improve coordination of services
Currently the Medicare program in Illinois includes complicated health plans that make it difficult for providers to participate. The new program seeks to create effective procedures and guidelines that will create a more efficient program.
The new program requires over 80% of Medicaid beneficiaries to receive managed care, an increase from the 65% required today. It also extends managed care to all 102 Illinois counties where the current program only serves 30 counties.
Governor Rauner says the new program will better serve the people in Illinois.
"Transforming Illinois' health and human services allows us to deliver better care to our most vulnerable residents more efficiently," Rauner says. "The steps we are taking will allow us to improve the way we offer Medicaid services, fulfilling our promise to care for millions of Illinois residents, while better serving taxpayers."
Guidelines will be included to improve care coordination, quality measures and patient access.
This change comes after the Health and Human Services Transformation the Governor announced last year, and the goals of the state's recent federal Medicaid waiver application.
Administrators say the program will focus more on the quality of care rather than the volume. They have determined that the program will be stronger in a competitive bidding process.
Managed care will also be extended to children under the care of the Department of Children and Family Services.
"We have put a lot of thought into how we can better serve our children, and this new managed care approach will do that," Illinois DCFS Director George H. Sheldon says . "Child welfare is in the midst of real change to improve the lives of every child in our care. Medicaid Managed Care 2.0 will offer a wider array of health services to help our youth overcome the trauma from the adverse experiences in their lives."
Illinois began switching Medicaid beneficiaries to managed care in 2011, and the General Assembly required that at least 50% of recipients be participating by 2015.
The state will accept bids from managed care companies this summer and award up to seven contracts.
To view the plan, visit https://www.illinois.gov/hfs/info/MedicaidManagedCareRFP