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“BHRS Redesign” Update and Survey Request
March 13, 2013

OMHSAS Forms BHRS Work Group
The Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS) announced plans to form a stakeholder Behavioral Health Rehabilitation Services (BHRS) Work Group. The current plan calls for the OMHSAS Planning Council Children’s Committee to form the core of the work group, with the first meeting to be held in late March or early April. PCPA had formed a BHRS Work Group that met in January with OMHSAS, the state’s psychiatric and psychology organizations, advocacy groups, and community providers to assess the impact of “BHRS Redesign.” PCPA has also circulated a provider survey in a continuing effort to gauge the impact of BHRS-related initiatives. Members are asked to provide critical information on the changes the member, consumers/families, and the community have experienced.

Survey to Gauge Impact of “Redesign”
Community providers of child mental health services from across the state have begun to complete the PCPA BHRS Redesign Impact Survey. The association encourages members to take a few minutes to complete the survey, responding to Connell O’Brien. Leadership of the OMHSAS Children’s Bureau and the Disability Rights Network (DRN) has expressed interest in survey responses. Survey information provided to date indicates:
  • Service changes in 19 counties.
  • Rural counties have experienced the greatest change in service authorizations and service levels.
  • Services that have experienced the greatest reductions in authorizations and service levels are BHRS, especially Therapeutic Staff Support, and Family Based Mental Health Services.
  • Reported authorization reductions and related service reductions are range from 5 – 25 percent in major cities and 25 – 60 percent in rural counties.
  • Providers reporting staff reduction were primarily in rural areas and, to date, report the elimination of over 200 staff with more anticipated.
  • The primary reasons for authorization denial are “did not meet medical necessity criteria,” “referred to lower level of care” – usually outpatient,” and “service should be responsibility of the school.”

Additional information on survey results will be reported as it becomes available.

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