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Community Behavioral Healthcare Associaton of Illinois

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Posts Tagged ‘William Delgado’

Governor Pat Quinn’s Budget Cuts to Mental Health Imperils Consent Decree to Move Mentally Ill Out of Illinois Nursing Homes

Posted by Frank Anselmo on March 26, 2010

Frank Anselmo, CEO, CBHA

(Springfield, IL) — March 26, 2010. The Community Behavioral Healthcare Association warned today that passage of Governor Pat Quinn’s proposed FY 2011 budget for the Illinois’s Department of Mental Health would threaten the state’s ability to comply with terms of a proposed consent decree settling a federal lawsuit involving some 4,500 mentally ill nursing home residents.

“Simply put, the state is making a promise it cannot keep,” CBHA CEO Frank Anselmo told a news conference prior to a Friday afternoon meeting of CBHA’s over 70 member agencies.

In the proposed consent decree the state pledges, over the next five years, to reevaluate the treatment currently provided to residents of two dozen nursing homes designated as “institutions for mental illness” and to relocate those wishing to leave those facilities into smaller community-based settings.

At the same time, in the proposed FY 2011 budget, DMH estimates that over 70,000, including 4,200 children, will lose access to basic mental health services and, most importantly, over 4,000 will be displaced from existing community-based residential settings, with most transferred into nursing homes.

“On the one hand,” Anselmo said, “the state proposes to virtually destroy the existing infrastructure, while on the other it vows to expand treatment options.”

“Once deconstructed in FY 2011, the state cannot,” he asserted, “pledge to reconstruct a bigger, better system over the following four years.”

Instead, CBHA urged passage of Senate Bill 3402, the Community Behavioral Health Center Infrastructure Act, which would establish a vehicle for the state to provide capital grants to community mental health and substance abuse treatment providers to assist them with their infrastructure needs.

The legislation is sponsored by Democratic State Senators:  Jeff Schoenberg, Michael Noland, William Delgado, Maggie Crotty, Susan Garrett, Martin Sandoval, Tony Muñoz, Iris Martinez and Emil Jones, III.

Anselmo was joined by Mark Heyrman, a University of Chicago Law School Professor and Chair of Public Policy for Mental Health America of Illinois, who agreed that the budget proposal seemed to contradict the promises made in the proposed consent decree.

“I said last week that the decree marked a very happy day for everyone who cares about persons with mental illness in Illinois,” Heyrman recalled, “but a passage of the DMH budget as proposed will mark a very unhappy day for those suffering from mental illness and those who care for and about them.”

“What the state pledges to do in the consent decree, “he added, “its FY 2011 budget proposal delivers virtually the exact opposite result.”

“In the coming weeks,” Anselmo concluded, “the General Assembly is likely to reshape the budget proposal.”

“CBHA member agencies urge members of the House and Senate to dramatically revise the DMH budget, mindful of the terms of the proposed consent decree, and pass SB 3402 to facilitate its implementation.”

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Posted in Governor Pat Quinn, Illinois Budget, Illinois Nursing Homes | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Without Financial Rescue, Mental Health Care, Drug Treatment for 16,000 Illinois Residents—9,600 Kids—Will be Eliminated, Survey Says

Posted by Frank Anselmo on April 20, 2009

(Springfield, IL) – Without tapping cash from dormant state health funds and a tax increase to stage a financial rescue, mental health care and drug treatment services will be eliminated for more than 16,000 Illinois residents—of which more than 9,600 are children—by June 30, 2010, according to a new survey of community behavioral health care providers in Illinois.

Frank Anselmo, CEO, CBHA

Frank Anselmo, CEO, CBHA

Advocate Michelle Schneiderheinze discusses the reduced mental health care available to severely mentally ill children in Illinois.

Advocate Michelle Schneiderheinze discusses the reduced mental health care available to severely mentally ill children in Illinois.

Released at a press conference in Springfield today, the survey by the Community Behavioral Healthcare Association of Illinois estimates that community providers—without any increased state funding—will eliminate care for 16,612 people—6,987 adults and 9,625 children between July 1, 2009 and June 30, 2010, the end of the state’s next fiscal year.

“The Illinois mental health care and drug treatment system is in a slow motion bankruptcy because of the failure of the state to adequately fund care,” said Frank Anselmo, CEO of the Community Behavioral Healthcare Association of Illinois.

“Without a financial rescue, providers will accelerate the elimination of care and for more than 16,000 Illinois men, women, and children will be without care by June 30, 2010,” said Anselmo. “The risk of teen suicide will rise without any question.”

The survey also reveals that another 29,812 Illinois residents—16,387 adults and 13,425 children—will face a reduction of existing mental health care and drug treatment June 30, 2010 due to state under-funding, according to Anselmo.

Diana Knaebe, President, Heritage Behavioral Health Center, Decatur, spoke at the press conference, noting that possibly 1,000 fewer people in the Macon County area would receive care due to underfunding.

Diana Knaebe, President, Heritage Behavioral Health Center, Decatur, spoke at the press conference, noting that possibly 1,000 fewer people in the Macon County area would receive care due to underfunding.

Advocates are seeking a $93 million financial rescue from the state to staunch the loss of care.

“The loss of care is an ongoing tragedy that can still be avoided if Governor Pat Quinn and lawmakers decide to use the dedicated but dormant money or provide new money from a tax increase,” said Anselmo.

Anselmo says a bi-partisan group of lawmakers are already pushing a plan to avoid the massive loss of care by drawing on the $35.3 million special health and mental health trust funds some of which have languished untapped for more than three years, and additional available federal dollars.

State Senators Jeff Schoenberg, Michael Noland, Dan Kotowski, William Delgado, Kimberly Lightford, Chris Lauzen, John Sullivan,

Chicago Tribune reporter Ray Long poses a question.

Chicago Tribune reporter Ray Long poses a question.

Don Harmon, Maggie Crotty, and David Koehler are sponsoring Senate Joint Resolution 31 that calls on the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget to utilize the available funds from the Mental Health Medicaid Trust Fund to increase Medicaid rates for mental health and drug treatment providers.

“If Governor Quinn and lawmakers stage a $92.8 million financial rescue by drawing on idle mental health care money, available federal funds, or a tax increase, the state can rescue care for the more than 16,000 people,” said Anselmo.

Posted in Governor Pat Quinn, Illinois Budget, Illinois Drug Treatment, Illinois Mental Health Care, Illinois Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »