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OMHSAS Issues Final HealthChoices Expansion Plan
April 4, 2006

The Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS) has issued the final version of the implementation plan for statewide expansion of HealthChoices for behavioral health services. Previous versions provided several options for county participation. The March 21 version identifies the 24 counties that will be included in the contract that is held directly by the commonwealth and the 14 counties that elected the right of first opportunity to manage contracts.

The North/Central zone that will be managed by the commonwealth includes many rural counties. Responses to the Request for Proposals (RFP) are due May 9 for scheduled implementation January 1, 2007. The selected managed care organization (MCO) must cover all 24 counties and agree to accept any of the other 14 counties that might withdraw the decision to pursue the right of first opportunity and join the North/Central zone. The RFP for those counties that have selected the right of first opportunity will be issued in July with implementation scheduled July 1, 2007. The contract will include a risk corridor for the first two years of implementation and counties will accept a two-month delay in capitation payment for the duration of the contract. Counties, families, and consumers are to figure prominently in oversight and coordination of HealthChoices for behavioral health services.

OMHSAS has requested the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to approve expansion of the current waiver for HealthChoices so that implementation can proceed as planned. View the complete document, Implementing the Behavioral Health Carve-out Statewide Managed Care Expansion Plan. Contact Betty Simmonds with questions about the plan.

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