Medicaid director says rate cuts wouldn’t impact behavioral health overhaul

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Acting Medicaid Director Teresa Hursey is confident providers could sustain a rate cut proposed by Gov. Bruce Rauner and still be able to build out community behavioral health services outlined under a recently approved 1115 Medicaid waiver. But Sen. Heather Steans, D-Chicago, said that’s not what she’s hearing from providers. “I know for a five-year period it’s budget neutral, but my understanding is that up front it takes some building out of that in order to bring down the back-end cost,” Steans said at a recent appropriations committee hearing. Rauner, as part of his fiscal year 2019 budget, is proposing a 4 percent rate reduction across most providers, which would garner $150 million in savings.