Our Procurement Office posted a Request For Information (RFI) for Greater Arizona Behavioral Health Services earlier today. The RFI is seeking input concerning the delivery of behavioral health services for all parts of Arizona outside of Maricopa County. The existing contracts for service delivery in this area expire on September 30, 2015. While that may sound like a long time from now it is important to gather all the information we can in preparation to issue a Request for Proposals (RFP). The RFP will likely be issued in the Summer of 2014 with Proposals being due in the Fall of 2014 and a selection of vendors in late 2014 or early 2015. This timeline should allow for a smooth implementation of new contracts beginning in October 2015.
Yesterday (December 3, 2013) the Deputy Director of the Arizona Department of Administration issued an Order affirming the Department of Health Services award of the GSA6 Integrated Care RBHA contract to Mercy Maricopa Integrated Care. In his Order the Deputy Director of ADOA indicates that the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) found that the “Appellant Magellan did not establish its burden for any argument in the Protest considered at hearing” and therefore “Appellant Magellan did not establish that ADOA is required to rescind ADHS’s award of the 2013 RBHA contract to MMIC.” The Deputy Director’s acceptance of the recommendation of the ALJ in full continues to demonstrate the Department’s compliance with all aspects of the procurement process.
The Order from ADOA marks one more step in the process of implementing an integrated care model for the SMI population in Maricopa County. Magellan does continue to have appeal rights to Superior Court so we will continue to work through those processes if or when they occur. We will also continue to work with Magellan in the day to day management of the current GSA6 contract. The continued management and delivery of a quality behavioral health system is important to all our members and providers and we are committed to seeing that any activities associated with the contract award or transition activities do not adversely impact members.
The Arizona State Hospital is recruiting for a variety of staff members to work in its inpatient psychiatric hospital serving seriously mentally ill persons. The facility includes a 260-funded bed facility accredited by the Joint Commission, and certified by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and a transitional residential program serving approximately 90 sex offenders.
The Arizona State Hospital (ASH) provides a welcoming environment and a full continuum of psychiatric and medical care. The hospital promotes hope and wellness for the patients and creates opportunities to participate in planning, delivering and evaluating services that assist with recovery. Treatment is individualized with goals that focus on education about an illness, instilling hope and improving one’s overall quality of life.
If you would like to join the hospital team a job fair is being held on site on Thursday December 5th from 9:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. Interviews will be conducted at the fair! Bring your resume!
Seeing the Need, People of Color Network, Cenpatico, and other organizations from our community are participating and promoting this year’s 9th Annual Stories of Healing and Hope Holiday-Home Makeover and Giveaway-throughout Arizona.
To participate you can submit your Story of Healing and Hope for a chance to win!
The purpose of this year’s campaign is to provide much needed services to deserving families throughout the holiday season. The campaign focuses on individuals who have overcome their challenges through their Stories of Healing and Hope.
This Sunday’s TV show on ABC 15 at 4 pm will host Tomas Leon from People of Color Network talking about mental health, healing, recovery, and mental health first aid.
Next Sunday Christy Dye from Partners In Recovery will be the guest, also talking about healing, recovery and the how important mental health is for our overall wellbeing. More about Seeing the Need, Finding the Solution.
Guest post written by Kelli Donley, Project Manager at ADHS Division of Behavioral Health
Leaders at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) recently released a new report summarizing services for the year prior. In “Behavioral Health, United States 2012,” officials report 41 million American adults – or 18% of the population – had a mental illness. Of these, 9 million, 4%, had a mental illness that “greatly affected day-to-day living.”
Some 20 million adult Americans during the same time period reported a substance use disorder. Substance abuse is also influencing children; in 2012, 24% of eight grade students, and 64% of twelfth grade students had used alcohol in the previous year.
Capacity to treat mental illness and substance abuse increased as well. From 1998-2007, the number of community health centers nationally grew by 50%. Some 80% of these centers had mental health services, and 50% had substance abuse services on site.
The report from SAMHSA has been published annually since 1980 to provide a macro perspective of behavioral health issues nationally. For more information, visit: http://www.samhsa.gov/newsroom/advisories/1310290806.aspx
The recently published Child Fatality Report shows that in 2012, 854 children under the age 18 died in Arizona. This report is the product of the Arizona Child Fatality Review Program (CFR) which explores the causes and contributing factors associated with child deaths to identify recommendations addressing preventable fatalities of children based upon this collection of work. DBHS partners with this program at both the state and local levels in order to reduce child deaths attributed to substance abuse and suicide.
This year’s report shows that deaths due to substance use (including illegal drugs, prescription drugs, and/or alcohol) was associated with 121 child deaths during 2012, accounting for 14 percent of all child fatalities and was associated with child deaths in several different categories including homicide, suicide, drowning, motor vehicle collisions and overdoses. Youth suicides decreased to 33 from 39 suicides in 2011. The majority of these suicide deaths were by firearms. Males comprised 76% of all youth suicides. The use of drugs was the most commonly identified preventable factor, followed by alcohol use.
This report is a valuable resource in informing prevention strategies. At DBHS we use a public health approach to systemically address the problem of suicide and substance abuse. One of the recommendations from a previous CFR report was to have DBHS create a suicide investigation checklist (Appendix E in the report). DBHS created the checklist with input from clinicians, law enforcement, medical personnel, and the Maricopa County Suicide Child Fatality Review team and will soon begin training with law enforcement on how to use it. It is through our ongoing collaboration and efforts like these that we can continue to reduce youth substance abuse and suicides in Arizona.
The formal protest process regarding our award of the Regional Behavioral Health Authority contract in Maricopa County passed another milestone yesterday. The hearings at the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH) were completed a few weeks ago, and the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) issued her recommendation on Monday this week, concluding that: “Based on the foregoing, it is recommended that ADHS’s award of the 2013 RBHA contract to MMIC shall be affirmed and that Magellan’s appeal shall be dismissed.”
The Recommendation (at the end) says: “In the event of certification of the Administrative Law Judge Decision by the Director of the Office of Administrative Hearings, the effective date of the Order will be five days from the date of that certification”… which suggests that the ALJ’s recommendation still needs to be certified by the OAH Director- and that the effective date of the recommendation would be 5 days after that. At that point the certified recommendation would go to the Arizona Department of Administration (ADOA) for a final determination.
ADOA is not bound by the recommendation of the ALJ so until we have that final determination we are not able to fully move forward with implemenation of the contract.
Mountain Health & Wellness (MH&W), a provider in our public Behavioral Health system of care, has received Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) status. This is a very competitive grant award process across the entire nation – congratulations MH&W!
As an FQHC, MH&W will now be able to expand their services in ways they weren’t able to do in the past, particularly responding to the health needs of many severely underserved individuals in rural Arizona.
For over 25 years MH&W has been providing an array of mental health services in Pinal County. Over the past 2 – 3 years they have expanded services not only offering comprehensive behavioral health care but also including primary care and wellness services utilizing an integrated care approach. They also have increased their reach and now are able to serve persons in Pinal, Maricopa, La Paz, and Yuma Counties.
For more information about this FQHC award, here is a link to the HRSA Press Release http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2013pres/11/20131107a.html
To learn more about MH&W visit their website at http://www.mhwaz.org/
Today the Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor and Treasury jointly issued a final rule that requires insurance companies providing health care coverage for groups and individuals to cover mental health and addiction benefits at parity with medical and surgical benefits.
Parity means that mental health/addiction benefits will have the same rules or limitations that are applicable for medical/surgical benefits. For example, co-pays, deductibles and visit limits should be about the same (they should not be more restrictive for mental health/addition care than they are for medical/surgical care). Removing these limitations will enable many more consumers to seek and receive the mental health care they need.
In summary, today’s action includes the following consumer protections:
•Requiring parity at intermediate levels of care received in residential treatment or intensive outpatient settings;
•Clarifying the scope of the transparency required by health plans, including the disclosure rights of plan participants;
•Clarifying that parity applies to all plan standards, including geographic limits, facility-type limits and network adequacy; and
•Eliminating the provision that allowed insurance companies to make an exception to parity requirements for certain benefits based on “clinically appropriate standards of care,” which clinical experts advised was not necessary and which is confusing and open to potential abuse.
Guest post written by Kelli Donley, Project Manager at ADHS Division of Behavioral Health
Last week, I and several of my colleagues attended the 20th annual Arizona Coalition to End Homelessness conference (ACEHC). The meeting brought together local and national government, community and academic advocates for a continued conversation about our state’s increasing population of homeless individuals.
Having a home is critical to one’s behavioral health. It can also be one of the first safety nets to fail when a person falls ill with a mental disorder, or suffers from substance abuse. Our department works to return homeless folks to secure, safe housing. From here, we also help facilitate their care.
We do this not only by supporting housing programs run by our many community partners, but also by working with rural outreach – such as the PATH program in northern Arizona. This program seeks out individuals who are living outdoors, in campsites and the mountains. The PATH staff work with these individuals – many of whom have a behavioral health concern – to return them to a safe and secure home, and into the system of care. Last year, this PATH team was able to house 50- individuals, and help another 70 receive treatment for their health concerns.
One of the conference key note speakers, Jennifer Ho, Senior Advisor for Housing and Services at the Department of Housing and Urban Affairs (HUD), encouraged all in attendance to do what they could.
“We need will and courage to change this,” she said. “The closer we get to zero, the harder the push. Marines don’t say, ‘It would be nice to take that hill.’ They say, ‘Take that hill!’” Together, we will take the hill, and continue our work to end homelessness in Arizona.
Pictures from the conference can be viewed here.