Medicaid Guidance Released for SASS/MCR Providers

April 22, 2020

On Monday, the Dept. of Healthcare and Family Services released a Provider Notice updating COVID-19 guidance to community mental health-focused Screening, Assessment, and Support Services (SASS)/Mobile Crisis Response (MCR) essential providers and will extend only until the termination date of the COVID-19 public health emergency. The notice reviews details on the SASS/MCR required processes, including:

  • An initial crisis intervention via phone or video, which does not require a Crisis Screening via the Illinois Medicaid – Crisis Assessment Tool if a patient is able to be stabilized;   
  • If crisis intervention does not result in stabilization, a crisis screening that can be provided in-person, via phone or video;   
  • If recommended, coordination with a hospital on admission procedures to determine if via face-to-face, phone or video should be used for psychiatric hospitalization. The hospital’s admitting physician may use telehealth to complete the admission assessment to prevent exposure of the SASS/MCR staff and patient to COVID-19 in the emergency department; and,   
  • Engagement in telehealth follow-up services, whether the patient is hospitalized or deflected and referred for community services.

Questions regarding this notice may be directed to the Bureau of Behavioral Health via telephone at 217-557-1000 or via email at