Today we released the Greater Arizona RFP for Integrated care. The RFP will encompass the fourteen counties outside of the greater Phoenix Area (Maricopa County) and will be split in two Geographic Service Areas (GSA’s). The North GSA will include the following counties: Apache, Coconino, Gila, Mohave, Navajo, Yavapai and a small portion of Graham County (zip code 85530). The South GSA will include Cochise, Graham, Greenlee, La Paz, Pima, Pinal, Santa Cruz and Yuma Counties.
A great deal of thought and research went into these GSA configurations including resident travel patterns, availability of behavioral, primary and specialty care and tribal land alignment. While no alignment completely meets the needs and desires of every resident we believe this alignment will provide for the best care outcomes for the individuals served under these contracts.
Bidders will be required to submit their bids in early October. Once all bids are submitted the evaluation process will begin with an anticipated award prior to the end of 2014. New contracts for the two new GSA’s will begin on October 1, 2015.
This is an exciting time for Arizona as we will have statewide integration of behavioral health and primary care for one of our most vulnerable populations, individuals diagnosed with a Serious Mental Illness (SMI). Most studies indicate that individuals with an SMI die as much as 25 years earlier than the general population, many times from preventable illnesses. Providing compassionate and coordinated care for this population will lead to an improved quality of life while managing costs associated with chronic conditions.