The Various Financing Options for Behavioral Health Services

Behavioral Health Services are some of the latest beneficiaries of reimbursement from Medicaid, which is acting under instructions from the Program Information Notice by the Health Resources and Services Administration. All nursing practitioners, physicians, physician assistants, clinical social workers and clinical psychologists, as well as Federally Qualified Health Centers that provide these services are entitled to reimbursement from Medicaid, which operates under the guidelines of the Program Information Notice, regardless of whether they the state Medicaid plan includes their services. However, these service providers must practice according to the state law in order to benefit from these guidelines.

Although the blind, disabled and aged people, who are the main beneficiaries of the Medicaid funding that is available for behavioral health services, may not have easy access to public health services that meet medical necessities by targeting populations, the Program Information Notice means a lot to them and the overall Medicaid population. This is because it varies from one state to another.

Although CHC offers behavioral health services to Medicaid populations that have lower behavioral health and higher physical health risks, the Program Information Notice is the overall financier in all states that have public health systems whose focus is on populations that have serious emotional problems and mental illnesses since it has the ability to create opportunities for other Medicaid populations. The Program Information Notice serves to assure net populations of their safety by ensuring consistencies between CHCs and HRSA initiatives, which are essential for the creation of behavioral health capacities and the reduction of disparities in the provision of health services.

Medicaid models,which are different in each state, have numerous financing implications for the Behavioral Health Services that populations with various illnesses receive since their differences make is possible for CHC, CMHC and every community partnership with them to identify business models that provide the necessary support for their integration activities by assessing their specific policy and financing environments.

The aforementioned partnerships enable the Medicaid population to access behavioral health services easily since they are largely responsible for the development of policy directions that deal directly with the access to these services without harming or excluding any populations that receive their services from the public health system.

The Program Information Notice,which has a responsibility to implement and address the structural and financial issues of the various clinical models, plays a vital role in helping to make the treatment for depression more effective especially in primary care settings hence its special link to Clinical and System Strategies.

Although some resulting papers from special issues of Administration and Policy Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research provide useful information about the various policy and financial barriers that exist in the system, the Program Information Notice provides a different integration approach. Consequently, it has proven to be more effective in patching together various sources of funding.

A Guide to Mental Health Services

Do you ever feel you need some sort of help but are not sure what exactly it is? Asking for help is never really an easy task for most of the individuals, but it is the best you can do when you think you need help. People who have doubts related to mental health services can always get in contact with the local mental health centers and can obtain the required information. You can know about the various services designed for people with mental disorders such as anxiety, depression, phobias, schizophrenia, etc.

Defining mental health is never easy, rather it is easy to define what mental illness is. If you are wondering what exactly is the kind of treatment you will get in a mental health center, then there are a lot of kinds of treatments. Professionals at these centers work with individuals and determine the best needs for them. Depending on the type of illness, treatment or psychotherapy with medication is recommended. If you are in doubt that you need external help, then either you can have a straight talk with a medical counselor or if you prefer to find out on your own, they use internet. Go online and you can find information related to almost all the disorders explained in detail along with the symptoms. Once you confirm whether you are suffering from a disorder, you can then find a therapist or a counselor and seek consultation.

Therapy for emotional and mental problems may or may not always produce results. It is mostly interdependent on the honesty with which an individual shares his or her concerns with the therapist. Hence, it is always best to establish a trusted relationship with the therapist. Mental health services cater to all kind of age groups right from children to old people.

There are a few warning signals that an individual needs to watch out for. If certain behaviors become severe or persistent those are the signs of trouble. Keep an eye open and observe if an individual is acting differently than usually and try to relate that change to any incident that occurred in the recent past such as losing a job, death of someone close, marital break up, etc. If any individual complains of uncontrollable or extreme nervousness or anxiety, it may be a sign. Observe if any individual turns aggressive or rude even for a small action, if he or she does this quite often, then they may need help. If any of the above mentioned symptoms persist for a period of time, then that particular individual requires professional help.

The basic goals of the treatments are to decrease the symptoms related to the disorders and bringing an improvement in the patient’s life. With the importance of mental health services being brought to light, many individuals can gain benefit. The more awareness is created among the people the more they can protect themselves or can diagnose any disorders they may be suffering from and can get the required treatments.

Types of Mental Health Services

In the last few years we have gained awareness of the various needs that individuals with mental health issues need in order to achieve overall well-being. Many times, we talk about the importance of medication, individual counseling, family counseling, and, socialization.

Those are all of extreme importance when it comes to mental health but the one service that seems to be forgotten is care management. A lot of people attribute care management services to individuals who are aging or who have chronic medical conditions. Although, care management can be very helpful for those issues, we also see a huge need for intense care management for individuals who have a chronic mental illness and cannot get access to any services. It is not a secret that severe and persistent mental illness like schizophrenia, bi-polar disorder, and major depression can require intense care management and advocacy.

Just as a refresher, the duties of a mental health care manager include:

  • Acting as a connector between the individual and the community resources
  • Advocating on behalf of the individual so that he or she gain access to needed quality services
  • Overseeing the care of an individual including medication management, doctors’ appointments, therapy, psychiatric services, and anything else related to their care
  • Connecting the client’s family to support services such as individual, family, or group counseling
  • Being an advocate if there is need for hospitalization to ensure the safety of the client and their family members
  • Facilitating access to needed benefits
  • Assisting the individual with navigating all the different services so that it does not become overwhelming for them
  • Crisis intervention
  • Alleviating family members of some stress regarding the care and wellbeing of their loved one
  • Coordinating for advanced planning for the individual
  • Connect individual with social services and programs
  • Any service that the person may need the care manager will make that connection.

As professionals in the field of mental health, we see that families with loved ones living with a mental health condition often want an immediate and instant “fix” for their family member. It is important for them to keep in mind, that a mental illness is a lot like a physical illness that needs constant care. This is not to say that you cannot live a “normal” life with a mental illness however extra care is needed. In addition, as family members it is important to remember that you also have a vital role in the recovery of your loved one. The more involved you are, the more likely your loved is to recover.

There is a lot of value in having a care manager involved in the care of your loved one with a mental illness. A care manager will initially do a full initial assessment of your loved one’s needs and wishes and will explore what services can add value to the life their life. They will explore the physical, psychological, social, and emotional well-being of your family member and will assess for possible gaps that need to be filled. For example, your family member may be living with schizophrenia and has been in and out of the hospital while being non -compliant with medication. Once this happens we know that your loved ones has probably had many psychotic episodes resulting in severe impaired functioning. Therefore. he or she may need home care services to assist with activities of daily living such. However, every case is different some more severe than others.

Another common case for care management is one that your adult child has recently been diagnosed with a mental illness and you as parents/family members do not even know where to start. In cases like this, the care manager steps in and coordinates for all initial care. When this occurs we often see a sense of relief in our family members as they often will say “I do not even know how I would have started this process without you”. A care manager is also a huge support system for the individual as they now know that they have an advocate overseeing their needs and wishes.

It is important to remember that living with a mental illness or having a family member with a mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of. In addition, the diagnosis of a mental illness does not mean that the person’s life is over as many people mistakenly think. We have worked with many individuals and their families as they cope with diagnoses like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depression, generalized anxiety disorder, agoraphobia, and many others. The beginning of the process is usually made up of what we like to call growing pains full of discomfort. It is important to note that many of our clients with these diagnoses live normal lives but are able to do so because they gained access to the resources in the community. One very important step is accepting the presence of this new diagnosis and what it may mean. Another important step is realizing that you may need the help of psychiatric and/or home care services. It is important to act as early as you can, as early intervention can lead to the best results.

Mental Health Services For The Elderly

One out of every five adult Americans suffers with mental illness. Some important mental health problems that occur during old age include dementia, delirium, psychosis, schizophrenia and depression. Elders suffering with mental health problems tend to have abnormal cognitive and behavioral patterns that are often associated with decreased ability to function. Other prominent symptoms that elders usually complain include sleep disturbances, a change in appetite and mood differences.

In most cases, mental health problems in elders that require treatment are quite conveniently ignored. Improper treatment of mental illnesses in elders seems to the most prominent reason contributing to high suicidal rate in these people. Many of these people require specialized mental health services.

However, there are several reasons that contribute to improper mental health services to the elderly. Some of them are listed below:

1. In most cases, elders are reluctant to undergo treatment for their mental health disorder. They continue to harbor their minds with discomfort and stigmas, thereby showing resistance to leaving their homes and going to a rehabilitation center or a clinic.

2. Our society has never shown respect or dignity for individuals suffering from mental health problems. Even a mental health professional is apprehensive about an elderly person with such condition. Beliefs and attitudes of these professionals do have a significant influence on the quality of medical care provided to the patients.

3. Medical negligence is another big hurdle. In many situations, symptoms of mental health diseases are just written off as indicators of ageing.

Other major hurdles include scarcity in federal and state-supported community prevention programs for elders, inadequate private health insurance coverage and lack of well-trained mental health staff.