NJ Medicaid Changes Redesign Behavioral Health

Medicaid Seeks to Bring Merged Care to Behavioral Sciences

Valarie HarrOn November 14, 2011, NJ Spotlight posted an article, “Medicaid Seeks to Bring Merged Care to Behavioral Sciences.”

New Jersey is seeking federal approval to redesign its behavioral health care delivery system for Medicaid members.

This is one of the many changes the state Department of Human Services (DHS) proposed in the Comprehensive Medicaid Waiver it submitted in September.

If the plan is approved, it would mark the first time that adult Medicaid beneficiaries with mental illnesses and addictions would be administered by a behavioral health managed care provider. The DHS has long used managed care to deliver physical health services to most of the Medicaid population.

Valerie Harr, who oversees Medicaid as director of the Division of Medical Assistance and Health Services at the DHS, said the waiver reflects recommendations from the behavioral health provider community.

The Mental Health Association in NJ, along with other advocates for the behavioral health community, said they welcome many of the proposed changes, but caveats and concerns remain, especially regarding reimbursements and the very short time frame these reforms are being implemented.

Click here to read the full article and learn more about the potential changes.