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OMHSAS Adjusts HealthChoices Expansion
January 30, 2006

Deputy Secretary Joan Erney, Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS), has announced changes to the statewide expansion plan for HealthChoices behavioral health managed care. All of the remaining non-HealthChoices counties will now have the right of first opportunity to choose whether to bear the risk of managed care. There will be at least one contract with the state for those counties that choose not to accept the risk.

Caveats in the revised plan are that the selected vendor or county must meet the established timeframes for implementation and that they must be able to accept a two-month delay in capitation payments. OMHSAS expects counties to have at least 10,000 covered lives and county joinders to have at least 40,000 covered lives with a single vendor contract in order to maintain the right of first opportunity. A letter explaining the revisions was to be sent to counties January 27. Counties must express their interest by the end of February and include commissioners’ agreement and signatures, the procurement model to be used, and statements that the county or joinder can meet the timelines and financial requirements. Issuance of the request for proposals (RFP) for the state contract is scheduled for early March, with implementation slated for January 2007.

The RFP for the counties and joinders that accept the right of first opportunity is to be issued in June, with implementation anticipated by July 2007. These proposals should be submitted by September. Please contact Betty Simmonds with questions.

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