On Thursday, July 20, 2023, at a meeting of Utah's Medicaid Advisory Committee, it was revealed that Utah is pursuing a waiver to federal Medicaid rules to improve outcomes for people with serious mental illness who are being released from incarceration in our state. The incidence of mental illness is disproportionately high for people who are incarcerated in Utah and many are released from the jail or the prison to a homeless shelter.
After Utah submitted a waiver request in this area the federal government approved a similar waiver request from the State of California. This analysis from the Kaiser Family Foundation says a little bit about what California is planning to do and how what Utah proposes differs from what Utah has asked permission to do. The Faith and Advocacy Coalition to End Hunger and Homelessness has invited Utah's Department of Health and Human Services to come to one of our future meetings to discuss how the waiver could help reduce homelessness if it is approved and whether our state's proposal should be improved by adding elements from California's successful waiver request.
We hope that such a meeting will be scheduled soon.