022223CM0308rSPRINGFIELD – Illinois residents will have greater access to care and mental health services after State Senator Ann Gillespie’s comprehensive Medicaid overhaul takes effect Jan. 1.

“Thousands of Illinois residents depend on health care through Medicaid,” said Gillespie (D-Arlington Heights). “We are helping providers with offering affordable and high-quality care by expanding services, investing in telehealth and increasing reimbursement rates.”

The new law comprises many provisions that aim to improve Medicaid reimbursement rates and expand services across numerous health care sectors. Included are rate increases for inpatient substance use disorder treatment, hospitals, supportive living facilities, community-based mental health services and inpatient psychiatric care at hospitals. These increases will strengthen the quality and availability of care in critical areas.

For mental health care, reimbursement for additional mental health professionals at Federally Qualified Health Centers will lead to an increase in these facilities’ capacity and will help to provide necessary mental health services. Additionally, a new waiver program that provides telehealth services to individuals with developmental disabilities will provide convenient and easily accessible care options, which will reduce the need for trips to the emergency room.

Increased reimbursement rates are also included for medically complex and developmentally disabled children, reversible contraceptives, ground and air ambulances, and services for occupational therapy, physical therapy and speech pathology. Further, the law includes a new billing code to help with the assessment and care planning for Alzheimer’s and other dementias, which will offer personalized and comprehensive care to affected individuals. These changes will address gaps in care and help to ensure that vulnerable populations will receive the necessary support and resources that they need.

“This Medicaid package shows our dedication to improving health outcomes and providing necessary support for mental health services,” Gillespie said. “By investing strategically and using evidence-based policymaking, our goal is to streamline care delivery and improve the well-being and health of our communities.”

Senate Bill 1298 takes effect Jan. 1.