An estimated 7.5 million people in California experience a mental health disorder in any given year, but only one-third of adults who experience mental illness are getting treatment. The caregivers at hospitals know the obstacles people with behavioral health conditions face and the challenges in getting them the treatment they need. While hospitals embrace the essential role they play in addressing this crisis, more needs to be done. Solutions like payment reform, resource allocation, more outpatient and community-based services, a bolstered behavioral health workforce, and a statewide set of standardized core services will help Californians with behavioral health conditions access the care they deserve.
About Behavioral Health
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has awarded TriWest Healthcare Alliance (TriWest) a contract to administer the VA’s Community Care Network (CCN) in California. TriWest will establish and maintain a network of community care providers in the state, as outlined in the Veterans Community Care Program final rule.
The CHA Center for Behavioral Health (CBH) is calling for nominations to fill four vacancies on its advisory board.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released its final rule for the federal fiscal year (FFY) 2020 inpatient psychiatric facility (IPF) prospective payment system (PPS).
CMS finalized a 2.9% market basket update, offset by reductions including a productivity adjustment of 0.4% and an Affordable Care Act-mandated 0.75% reduction, resulting in a payment increase of approximately 1.75%. After accounting for a $10 million decrease as a result of an update to the outlier threshold, CMS estimates overall payments will increase by $65 million compared to FFY 2019. CMS also finalized its proposals to revise and rebase the market basket to reflect a 2016 base year rather than a 2012 base year, and remove the one-year lag in wage index data used under the IPF PPS. As a result, CMS will apply the FFY 2020 pre-floor, pre-reclassified inpatient prospective payment system wage index data.
For the IPF Quality Reporting Program, CMS finalized the adoption of one new measure — Medication Continuation Following Inpatient Psychiatric Discharge (National Quality Forum #3205) — beginning with the FFY 2021 payment determination and subsequent years.
The proposed rule is effective Oct. 1. Additional information is available in a CMS fact sheet.
Gov. Newsom has appointed Kelly Pfeifer, MD, as deputy director of mental health and substance use disorder services for the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS). Pfeifer has served as director of high-value care at the California Health Care Foundation since 2014, and was chief medical officer of San Francisco Health Plan from 2008 to 2014.
CHA has submitted comments to the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) on its draft proposal for value-based payments for behavioral health integration. In the letter, CHA applauds DHCS for recognizing the need to integrate primary and behavioral health services, and for taking steps to improve the health and wellness of those living with behavioral health challenges.
The California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) recently released Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Services Information Notice 19-026 to communicate to county mental health plans (MHPs) federal requirements related to the authorization of specialty mental health services (SMHS).
Tom Insel, MD, Gov. Newsom’s special advisor on mental health care, spoke on June 25 to the statewide Behavioral Health Action coalition — a group of more than 50 organizations that is co-founded and co-chaired by CHA and the National Alliance on Mental Illness, California. Dr. Insel shared with coalition members his ideas for how California can begin to transform its behavioral health system.
The Health and Human Services’ Office of Adolescent Health has updated its national and state data sheets, which measure a range of adolescent health factors and behaviors. The analysis draws on large, nationally representative surveys, and measures include physical activity and nutrition, mentorship, family meals, cigarette and e-cigarette use, driving under the influence, depression systems, bullying, dating violence, and more.
CHA has submitted comments on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) revised draft guidance on ligature risk policies for psychiatric hospitals and psychiatric units.
CHA has submitted comments on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) federal fiscal year (FFY) 2020 inpatient psychiatric facility prospective payment system proposed rule, raising significant concerns about CMS’ proposed use of the FFY 2020 wage index file.