This morning, the Illinois House Appropriations – Human Services – Committee held hearings regarding the use of managed care to provide health care for youth under the care of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. Testimony at the hearing made clear that the Department’s leadership does not know how the State’s migration to providing health care through managed care plans will impact children under the care of DCFS – especially those children in need of specialized, individualized care. 

In response to the hearing, Nora Collins-Mandeville of the ACLU of Illinois issued the following statement:
“We commend the Committee and its members for holding a hearing about this critical matter and highlighting concerns about how children in DCFS will receive care under the new health care system. Reform and improvement of DCFS is at a crossroads, and the lives of children under the care of DCFS could be seriously imperiled by an ill-prepared transition to managed care for their health care needs.  The leadership of the Department has failed – to this hour – to share a meaningful plan about how this transition will be managed and how children will get the care they need.  Moreover, the Department must be more transparent and provide more basic information and data, not just about health care but other matters relating to child safety and wellbeing as well.  Engaging in eleventh hour ‘data dumps’ prior to a legislative hearing after months of failing to share any information is not a substitute for the open, transparent sharing of data about the way the Department is serving the children in their care.  Today’s hearing shows we have miles to go to achieve that reality.”