Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of SB3501
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Full Text of SB3501  101st General Assembly




State of Illinois
2019 and 2020


Introduced 2/14/2020, by Sen. Heather A. Steans


New Act

    Creates the Behavioral Health Workforce Education Center of Illinois Act. Creates the Behavioral Health Workforce Education Center of Illinois, to be administered by a specified public institution of higher education for the purpose of leveraging workforce and behavioral health resources to produce reforms in Illinois. Provides for the structure and duties of the Center. Provides for the selection of the public institution of higher education to administer the Center. Provides for the adoption of rules. Effective immediately.

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SB3501LRB101 19722 CMG 69220 b

1    AN ACT concerning education.
2    Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
3represented in the General Assembly:
4    Section 1. Short title. This Act may be cited as the
5Behavioral Health Workforce Education Center of Illinois Act.
6    Section 5. Findings. The General Assembly finds as follows:
7        (1) There are insufficient behavioral health
8    professionals in this State's behavioral health workforce
9    and further that there are insufficient behavioral health
10    professionals trained in evidence-based practices.
11        (2) The Illinois behavioral health workforce situation
12    is at a crisis state and the lack of a behavioral health
13    strategy is exacerbating the problem.
14        (3) In 2019, the Journal of Community Health found that
15    suicide rates are disproportionately higher among African
16    American adolescents. From 2001 to 2017, the rate for
17    African American teen boys rose 60%, according to the
18    study. Among African American teen girls, rates nearly
19    tripled, rising by an astounding 182%. Illinois was among
20    the 10 states with the greatest number of African American
21    adolescent suicides (2015-2017).
22        (4) Workforce shortages are evident in all behavioral
23    health professions, including, but not limited to,



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1    psychiatry, psychiatric nursing, psychiatric physician
2    assistant, social work (licensed social work, licensed
3    clinical social work), counseling (licensed professional
4    counseling, licensed clinical professional counseling),
5    marriage and family therapy, licensed clinical psychology,
6    occupational therapy, prevention, substance use disorder
7    counseling, and peer support.
8        (5) The shortage of behavioral health practitioners
9    affects every Illinois county, every group of people with
10    behavioral health needs, including children and
11    adolescents, justice-involved populations, working adults,
12    people experiencing homelessness, veterans, and older
13    adults, and every health care and social service settings,
14    from residential facilities and hospitals to
15    community-based organizations and primary care clinics.
16        (6) Estimates of unmet needs consistently highlight
17    the dire situation in Illinois. Mental Health America ranks
18    Illinois 29th in the country in mental health workforce
19    availability based on its 480-to-1 ratio of population to
20    mental health professionals, and the Kaiser Family
21    Foundation estimates that only 23.3% of Illinoisans'
22    mental health needs can be met with its current workforce.
23        (7) Shortages are especially acute in rural areas and
24    among low-income and under-insured individuals and
25    families. 30.3% of Illinois' rural hospitals are in
26    designated primary care shortage areas and 93.7% are in



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1    designated mental health shortage areas. Nationally, 40%
2    of psychiatrists work in cash-only practices, limiting
3    access for those who cannot afford high out-of-pocket
4    costs, especially Medicaid eligible individuals and
5    families.
6        (8) Spanish speaking therapists in suburban Cook
7    County, as well as in immigrant new growth communities
8    throughout the State, for example, and master's-prepared
9    social workers in rural communities are especially
10    difficult to recruit and retain.
11        (9) Illinois' shortage of psychiatrists specializing
12    in serving children and adolescents is also severe.
13    Eighty-one out of 102 Illinois counties have no child and
14    adolescent psychiatrists, and the remaining 21 counties
15    have only 310 child and adolescent psychiatrists for a
16    population of 2,450,000 children.
17        (10) Only 38.9% of the 121,000 Illinois youth aged 12
18    through 17 who experienced a major depressive episode
19    received care.
20        (11) An annual average of 799,000 people in Illinois
21    aged 12 and older need but do not receive substance use
22    disorder treatment at specialty facilities.
23        (12) According to the Department of Public Health,
24    opioid overdoses have killed nearly 11,000 people in
25    Illinois since 2008. Just last year, nearly 2,000 people
26    died of overdoses, almost twice the number of fatal car



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1    accidents.
2        (13) Behavioral health workforce shortages have led to
3    well-documented problems of long wait times for
4    appointments with psychiatrists (4 to 6 months in some
5    cases), high turnover, and unfilled vacancies for social
6    workers and other behavioral health professionals that
7    have eroded the gains in insurance coverage for mental
8    illness and substance use disorder under the federal
9    Affordable Care Act and parity laws.
10        (14) As a result, individuals with mental illness or
11    substance use disorders end up in hospital emergency rooms,
12    which are the most expensive level of care, or are
13    incarcerated and do not receive adequate care, if any.
14        (15) There are many organizations and institutions
15    that are affected by behavioral health workforce
16    shortages, but no one entity is responsible for monitoring
17    the workforce supply and intervening to ensure it can
18    effectively meet behavioral health needs throughout the
19    State.
20        (16) Workforce shortages are more complex than simple
21    numerical shortfalls. Identifying the optimal number,
22    type, and location of behavioral health professionals to
23    meet the differing needs of Illinois' diverse regions and
24    populations across the lifespan is a difficult logistical
25    problem at the system and practice level that requires
26    coordinated efforts in research, education, service



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1    delivery, and policy.
2        (17) This State has a compelling and substantial
3    interest in building a pipeline for behavioral health
4    professionals and to anchor research and education for
5    behavioral health workforce development. Beginning with
6    the proposed Behavioral Health Workforce Education Center
7    of Illinois, Illinois has the chance to develop a blueprint
8    to be a national leader in behavioral health workforce
9    development.
10        (18) The State must act now to improve the ability of
11    its residents to achieve their human potential and to live
12    healthy, productive lives by reducing the misery and
13    suffering of unmet behavioral health needs.
14    Section 10. Behavioral Health Workforce Education Center
15of Illinois.
16    (a) The Behavioral Health Workforce Education Center of
17Illinois is created and shall be administered by a teaching,
18research, or both teaching and research public institution of
19higher education in this State. Subject to appropriation, the
20Center shall be operational on or before July 1, 2021.
21    (b) The Behavioral Health Workforce Education Center of
22Illinois shall leverage workforce and behavioral health
23resources, including, but not limited to, State, federal, and
24foundation grant funding, federal Workforce Investment Act of
251998 programs, the National Health Service Corps and other



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1nongraduate medical education physician workforce training
2programs, and existing behavioral health partnerships, and
3align with reforms in Illinois.
4    Section 15. Structure.
5    (a) The Behavioral Health Workforce Education Center of
6Illinois shall be structured as a multisite model, and the
7administering public institution of higher education shall
8serve as the hub institution, complemented by secondary
9regional hubs, namely academic institutions, that serve rural
10and small urban areas and at least one academic institution
11serving a densely urban municipality with more than 1,000,000
13    (b) The Behavioral Health Workforce Education Center of
14Illinois shall be located within one academic institution and
15shall be tasked with a convening and coordinating role for
16workforce research and planning, including monitoring progress
17toward Center goals.
18    (c) The Behavioral Health Workforce Education Center of
19Illinois shall also coordinate with key State agencies involved
20in behavioral health, workforce development, and higher
21education in order to leverage disparate resources from health
22care, workforce, and economic development programs in Illinois
24    Section 20. Duties. The Behavioral Health Workforce



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1Education Center of Illinois shall perform the following
3        (1) Organize a consortium of universities in
4    partnerships with providers, school districts, law
5    enforcement, consumers and their families, State agencies,
6    and other stakeholders to implement workforce development
7    concepts and strategies in every region of this State.
8        (2) Be responsible for developing and implementing a
9    strategic plan for the recruitment, education, and
10    retention of a qualified, diverse, and evolving behavioral
11    health workforce in this State. Its planning and activities
12    shall include:
13            (A) convening and organizing vested stakeholders
14        spanning government agencies, clinics, behavioral
15        health facilities, prevention programs, hospitals,
16        schools, jails, prisons and juvenile justice, police
17        and emergency medical services, consumers and their
18        families, and other stakeholders;
19            (B) collecting and analyzing data on the
20        behavioral health workforce in Illinois, with detailed
21        information on specialties, credentials, additional
22        qualifications (such as training or experience in
23        particular models of care), location of practice, and
24        demographic characteristics, including age, gender,
25        race and ethnicity, and languages spoken;
26            (C) building partnerships with school districts,



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1        public institutions of higher education, and workforce
2        investment agencies to create pipelines to behavioral
3        health careers from high schools and colleges,
4        pathways to behavioral health specialization among
5        health professional students, and expanded behavioral
6        health residency and internship opportunities for
7        graduates;
8            (D) evaluating and disseminating information about
9        evidence-based practices emerging from research
10        regarding promising modalities of treatment, care
11        coordination models, and medications;
12            (E) developing systems for tracking the
13        utilization of evidence-based practices that most
14        effectively meet behavioral health needs; and
15            (F) providing technical assistance to support
16        professional training and continuing education
17        programs that provide effective training in
18        evidence-based behavioral health practices.
19        (3) Coordinate data collection and analysis, including
20    systematic tracking of the behavioral health workforce and
21    datasets that support workforce planning for an
22    accessible, high-quality behavioral health system. In the
23    medium to long-term, the Center shall develop Illinois
24    behavioral workforce data capacity by:
25            (A) filling gaps in workforce data by collecting
26        information on specialty, training, and qualifications



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1        for specific models of care, demographic
2        characteristics, including gender, race, ethnicity,
3        and languages spoken, and participation in public and
4        private insurance networks;
5            (B) identifying the highest priority geographies,
6        populations, and occupations for recruitment and
7        training;
8            (C) monitoring the incidence of behavioral health
9        conditions to improve estimates of unmet need; and
10            (D) compiling up-to-date, evidence-based
11        practices, monitoring utilization, and aligning
12        training resources to improve the uptake of the most
13        effective practices.
14        (4) Work to grow and advance peer and parent-peer
15    workforce development by:
16            (A) assessing the credentialing and reimbursement
17        processes and recommending reforms;
18            (B) evaluating available peer-parent training
19        models, choosing a model that meets Illinois' needs,
20        and working with partners to implement it universally
21        in child-serving programs throughout this State; and
22            (C) including peer recovery specialists and
23        parent-peer support professionals in interdisciplinary
24        training programs.
25        (5) Focus on the training of behavioral health
26    professionals in telehealth techniques, including taking



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1    advantage of a telehealth network that exists, and other
2    innovative means of care delivery in order to increase
3    access to behavioral health services for all persons within
4    this State.
5        (6) No later than December 1 of every odd-numbered
6    year, prepare a report of its activities under this Act.
7    The report shall be filed electronically with the General
8    Assembly, as provided under Section 3.1 of the General
9    Assembly Organization Act, and shall be provided
10    electronically to any member of the General Assembly upon
11    request.
12    Section 25. Selection process.
13    (a) No later than 90 days after the effective date of this
14Act, the Board of Higher Education shall select a public
15institution of higher education, with input and assistance from
16the Division of Mental Health of the Department of Human
17Services, to administer the Behavioral Health Workforce
18Education Center of Illinois.
19    (b) The selection process shall articulate the principles
20of the Behavioral Health Workforce Education Center of
21Illinois, not inconsistent with this Act.
22    (c) The Board of Higher Education, with input and
23assistance from the Division of Mental Health of the Department
24of Human Services, shall make its selection of a public
25institution of higher education based on its ability and



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1willingness to execute the following tasks:
2        (1) Convening academic institutions providing
3    behavioral health education to:
4            (A) develop curricula to train future behavioral
5        health professionals in evidence-based practices that
6        meet the most urgent needs of Illinois' residents;
7            (B) build capacity to provide clinical training
8        and supervision; and
9            (C) facilitate telehealth services to every region
10        of the State.
11        (2) Functioning as a clearinghouse for research,
12    education, and training efforts to identify and
13    disseminate evidence-based practices across the State.
14        (3) Leveraging financial support from grants and
15    social impact loan funds.
16        (4) Providing infrastructure to organize regional
17    behavioral health education and outreach. As budgets
18    allow, this shall include conference and training space,
19    research and faculty staff time, telehealth, and distance
20    learning equipment.
21        (5) Working with regional hubs that assess and serve
22    the workforce needs of specific, well-defined regions and
23    specialize in specific research and training areas, such as
24    telehealth or mental health-criminal justice partnerships,
25    for which the regional hub can serve as a statewide leader.
26    (d) The Board of Higher Education may adopt such rules as



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1may be necessary to implement and administer this Section.
2    Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect upon
3becoming law.