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Mercer-OMHSAS Report on RTF
November 3, 2008

The Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS) engaged Mercer Consulting to prepare a residential treatment facility (RTF) research and data overview report for presentation to the OMHSAS Children’s Advisory Committee on November 6. The state’s goals for transforming the behavioral health system for youth calls for reduced reliance on RTF services. The Mercer report notes that to achieve this goal it will require:

  • Enhancement of community capacity;
  • Efforts to intensify and improve the quality of the treatment in RTFs;
  • Improved quality standards for RTF care;
  • Development of specialized RTF capacity for key groups such as trauma, young women, youth with aggressive behavior, and co-occurring substance use and mental health needs;
  • Bringing youth back to their communities from out-of-state as well as from distant out-of-community placements; and
  • Making family involvement a fundamental component of RTF services.

The report notes that transformation and change must be planned and implemented at

  • the county-level, because local systems of care vary widely in their needs, available services, and strategies;
  • the regional level, because smaller counties will need to share some specialized capacity; and
  • Statewide, because the funding and standards to drive the transformation require that scope.

The Mercer report also notes “the need to develop new cost-based rate setting methodologies for targeted new RTF modalities and partner with providers and behavioral health managed care organizations (BHMCOs) to implement them.”

The PowerPoint presentation on the Mercer-OMHSAS report is available.

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