Transfer of DCFS youths to managed care set for September

Transfer of DCFS youths to managed care set for September

The transfer of thousands of children under the care of the Department of Children and Family Services to Medicaid managed care is set to finally begin in September.

The Department of Healthcare and Family Services said in a statement Friday that they have worked for several months in “close collaboration with stakeholders and families” to improve the program and better prepare for the transition.

“There is nothing more important than the health and well-being of our most vulnerable children,” Director Theresa Eagleson said in a statement. “With more providers than ever and dedicated care coordinators focused on finding the right services, we look forward to improving healthcare options and outcomes for these children through the YouthCare program.”

Eighty-nine percent of providers currently serving DCFS youths are now part of the YouthCare network, according to the department. Families will be allowed to stay with providers who have not joined the network through February 2021. Providers who do not join the network may also be offered single-care agreements to care for an individual child.

The state has hired 188 care coordinators so far to focus on connecting youth and families with providers, and there are plans to hire 20 more.

“Throughout this process, we have made it a priority to listen to stakeholders and advocates who share our mission to care for vulnerable children, and the program HFS is moving forward with today is better because of those voices,” said DCFS Director Marc Smith.

The implementation was most recently set to go into effect April 1, but was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Former youths in care, or those under the age of 21 who have been adopted, emancipated from the state agency or recently reunited with their families, were shifted into managed care plans in February.

 

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