In the last 12 months OPEN MINDS has published over 1,000 news articles covering all corners of the health and human services industry. What were the most useful stories for our readers? Here is a look at the top 15 most-read stories from the OPEN MINDS Weekly News Wire.
1. Washington State Court Bans ‘Psychiatric Boarding’ In Emergency Departments
On August 7, 2014, the Washington State Supreme Court ruled that the practice of “psychiatric boarding” for individuals under civil commitment violates state law. Psychiatric boarding occurs when a patient in psychiatric emergency waiting for admission to a psychiatric facility remains in a hospital emergency department.
2. Louisiana To End Medicaid Behavioral Health Carve-Out By December 2015
On November 19, 2014, the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH) announced it had awarded Magellan of Louisiana a short-term contract to provide Medicaid behavioral health services, and that by December 1, 2015, the state intended to end the Louisiana Behavioral Health Partnership (LBHP) Medicaid behavioral health carve out.
3. CMS Launches $840 Million Value-Based Health Care Transformation Initiative
On October 23, 2014, the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) launched a new health care transformation initiative to help clinical professionals and hospitals move from volume-based to valued-based services.
4. HRSA Awards $54.6 Million To 221 FQHCs To Expand Behavioral Health Services
On July 31, 2014, the federal Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) awarded $54.6 million in grants to 221 community health centers to allow the centers to establish or expand behavioral health services.
5. CMS Clarifies Autism Services Requirements In Medicaid EPSDT Benefit
On July 7, 2014, the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) clarified that autism services are a requirement in state Medicaid plans through the Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment (EPSDT) provision. All children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) must receive EPSDT screenings to identify health and developmental issues including ASDs as early as possible.
6. Colorado Awards $20 Million In Contracts For Mental Health Crisis System Services
On June 26, 2014, the Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS), Office of Behavioral Health (OBH) awarded $20 million in contracts to improve the state’s public mental health crisis system. The contract components include the development of crisis stabilization services, mobile crisis services, and crisis residential/crisis respite services.
7. Medicare CMHC Conditions Of Participation Go Into Effect October 29, 2014
Medicare is preparing to implement new conditions of participation (CoPs) for community mental health centers (CMHCs), which go into effect on October 29, 2014. A final rule issued in October 2013 established the CoPs and a survey process by which Medicare will determine whether participating organizations have met the CoP requirements.
8. 22 States Plan Medicaid Benefit Expansions In 2015
In 2015, 22 states are planning Medicaid benefit expansions that affect behavioral health services, home- and community based services (HCBS), and dental services. There are 26 states that plan to make no changes to benefits in 2015, and although no states are planning to only restrict benefits, two states are both restricting and expanding benefits.
9. Virginia Medicaid To Move To Health Homes & Medicaid Expansion For SMI
On September 8, 2014, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe released details about the state’s plan to both implement Medicaid behavioral health homes and create a limited benefit Medicaid expansion plan for uninsured low-income adults with SMI not otherwise eligible for Medicaid.
10. Beacon Health Strategies & ValueOptions To Merge
On May 27, 2014, Boston-based Beacon Health Strategies entered into a definitive agreement to merge with Virginia-based ValueOptions. Financial terms of the private transaction have not been disclosed. Following regulatory review, the merger is expected to be completed in the fall of 2014.
11. Arizona Releases Integrated Care RFP For Greater Arizona Regional Behavioral Health Authority Services
On July 7, 2014, the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) Division of Behavioral Health Services (DBHS) released the Greater Arizona Behavioral Health request for proposals (RFP ADHS15-00004276) seeking two regional behavioral health authorities (RBHA) to coordinate delivery of integrated behavioral health and physical health care for individuals with serious mental illness (SMI).
12. Texas Medicaid To Establish Mandatory Managed Care Program For All Youth With Disabilities
In September of 2016, Texas Medicaid will launch the STAR Kids Medicaid managed care program for more than 107,000 children and young adults with disabilities most of who are currently served through fee-for-service (FFS) arrangements.
13. CMS Announces ICD-10 Testing Dates In Preparation For October 1, 2015 Deadline
On August 22, 2014, the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced the testing schedule for the International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision (ICD-10) to ensure that all covered entities are fully compliant by the October 1, 2015 transition deadline.
14. New York Medicaid Releases RFQ To Qualify MCOs To Manage Behavioral Health
On March 21, 2014, New York State released a request for qualifications (RFQ) to launch the next step in the state’s plan to move state-funded specialty behavioral health services to Medicaid managed care plans that provide fully integrated behavioral health and physical health services offered within a comprehensive, accessible, and recovery oriented system.
15. Acadia Healthcare To Acquire CRC Health For $1.2 Billion
On October 29, 2014, Acadia Healthcare Company, Inc. announced an agreement valued at $1.17 billion to acquire CRC Health Group, Inc. from Bain Capital Private Equity. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2015. As payment, Acadia is offering up to about 6.3 million shares of its common stock, and will assume CRC’s debt.