Illinois Budget: Behavioral Health Services Could See Slight Rate Increase

Elise Amendola/AP

Behavioral health service providers in Illinois would see a slight rate increase under the budget passed by the General Assembly today.

Sara Howe, CEO of the Illinois Association for Behavioral Health, said the budget comes with a 3 percent rate increase for substance use treatment. It also makes permanent a 3 percent rate increase for mental health services that was implemented last year.

But Howe said the increases are small relative to the costs of providing the care.

"We’re talking about 40 percent differences probably between what the cost of services are and what we get," she said. "Nobody got massive rate increases."

Howe said her organization will continue to advocate for increased funding for behavioral health services.

“Investing in substance abuse and mental health saves dollars exponentially across all the rest of the state’s systems," Howe said. "We’re not going to stop talking about that, particularly in the middle of an opioid crisis, and when we’ve seen an increase in suicides.”

Howe said this budget is “leaps and bounds better” than the one the governor proposed earlier this year. Rauner's proposal included cuts to addiction treatment and mental health, among other human service programs.

In a statement, Governor Rauner said he will "be taking action quickly to enact the Fiscal Year 19 budget into law."

Follow Christine on Twitter: @CTHerman

Story source: WILL