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HealthChoices Expansion Questioned
October 23, 2003

In a HealthChoices Update on October 22, the Department of Public Welfare has announced to the Physical Health Managed Care Plans its decision to delay the further expansion of HealthChoices due to the very difficult budget situation currently facing the Commonwealth. As a result of this decision, the Department will delay any further decisions on physical health’s expansion of HealthChoices until the Commonwealth’s budget situation improves. This delay affects HealthChoices in the Northeast and in the Northwest zones.

The Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS) is still considering whether to proceed with implementation of managed care for mental health and drug and alcohol treatment services in all future zones. According to the HealthChoices Update, “behavioral health managed care is seen [as] a means to achieve system integration and OMHSAS will be consulting with its county partners to discuss options.”

PCPA will inform its members as more information becomes available about this important issue. For more information, contact Rebecca May Cole at the Association.

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