New York Medicaid Reform

Posted on 7/28/2011 by The Bridge

In the Summer 2011 edition of Mental Health News, Peter Beitchman, Executive Director of The Bridge, writes about New York’s Medicaid reform which will have far-reaching effects on behavioral health services delivery. The Medicaid Redesign Team (MRT) appointed by Governor Andrew Cuomo is currently looking to slash $3 billion from the state’s $58 billion Medicaid program.

Dr. Beitchman explains that the plan outlined calls for, “a 2 year period, beginning in October of 2011, when regional Behavioral Health Organizations (BHOs) will be established (a total of 5 or 6 statewide). Although behavioral health services will continue to be paid on a fee-for-service basis during this period, BHOs will have a significant role in promoting continuity of care by monitoring both inpatient behavioral health hospitalizations and recipient transitions between hospitalization and community agency services. In 3 years, BHOs will be replaced by a full managed care system for both behavioral and health care services.” Both the recipient and provider communities are very concerned about how this major restructuring of the system will unfold. This is an issue that needs continuous monitoring. The effectiveness of this new system will not be known for some time.

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