SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – House Deputy Majority Leader Mary E. Flowers, D-Chicago, passed a bill to improve the quality of mental health care by requiring community mental health or developmental services to renew their licenses more frequently.
“We continue to see that some community mental health facilities are falling short of acceptable standards, and mental health deficiencies continue to be an issue across Illinois,” Flowers said. “Yet, in many cases, these facilities continue to retain their certification for years, despite low quality and compliance scores. That’s why my bill shortens the licensure period for these facilities. When facilities must certify more frequently, they must pay closer attention to their standards of care.”
Since 2018, community mental health agencies have been subject to a quality scorecard system administered by the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS). Under Flowers’ House Bill 1032, more frequent licensure examinations would enable IDHS to increase scrutiny of deficient mental health agencies. The bill would also permit additional sanctions including freezes on admissions or license revocation for agencies based on low compliance scores.
“Tolerating noncompliance with mental health treatment standards is a choice,” Flowers said. “We owe vulnerable people in our state a well-regulated mental healthcare system. When agencies or facilities fall short of standards, it is not enough that they eventually face accountability. The harm that can result to already troubled individuals when conditions like this aren’t rectified quickly is too serious.”
Flowers’ office can be reached at 773-471-5200 or email@example.com.