I have spent a good part of my working life involved with behavioral healthcare (BH). I have seen BH evolve from a carved-out niche to a full-blown participant in main stream health care. When I first became exposed to the business in 1987, community mental health boards controlled almost all of the available funding including Medicaid. Many changes have occurred in the interim such as the Mental Health Act of 1988, Medicaid going from cost reimbursement to fee for service (2010) and the BH Medicaid carve-in implementation (2018).
Now Ohio BH is proceeding toward full-integration with physical healthcare. The Ohio Department of Medicaid (ODM) has announced its intention to have its Managed Care Providers (MCPs) focus on both performance contracting and care coordination. On the surface, these changes may appear to be daunting, especially to smaller BH providers. I recognize this and I want to help develop a framework that allows smaller organizations to band together and build the infrastructure necessary to thrive in this new environment. Collaborating and sharing resources will allow UHA member providers to access enhanced revenue opportunities without having to shoulder all of the burdens associated with building infrastructure that is necessary to analyze data and coordinate care with other health providers (especially primary care).
Personally, I think this is a fantastic opportunity for BH providers in Ohio. Through collaborative efforts, we have the opportunity to see our members benefit both in the quality of care provided and increased generation of financial assets. The best part is that all of this can be done without compromising the corporate independence of individual providers. Furthermore, the UHA provider network will operate within clinical protocols formulated and approved by committees made up of individual provider members.