Illinois picks Boston company for opioid hotline

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(AP) — The Illinois Department of Human Services has hired a Boston-based company to run an opioid help hotline, despite receiving proposals from at least three Illinois providers.

Gov. Bruce Rauner announced plans for the hotline last year. It’s part of the state’s effort to combat the opioid epidemic. The $1.2 million program is being paid for through a federal grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

The department searched for a provider that could operate the hotline at all hours every day and could handle 30,000 calls a year, the Belleville News-Democrat reported. Chicago-based Caritas, Chicago-area nonprofit Pilsen-Little Village Community Mental Health Center and the Iroquois Mental Health Center in eastern Illinois were among those that submitted proposals.

But the state agency opted to go with Boston-based Health Resources in Action.

In their proposals, the agencies listed how much of the hotline budget would be allocated to personnel, fringe benefits, hotline equipment and other expenses.

Health Resources in Actions said it would spend more than $515,000 to develop and maintain the hotline system by Texas-based…

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