MassHealth Rolls Out Two More Community-Based Services: In-Home Behavioral Services and Therapeutic Mentoring
Two new community-based behavioral health services for MassHealth-enrolled children and youth under age 21 began on October 1, 2009. In-Home Behavioral Services provides support to children and youth with challenging behaviors. Therapeutic Mentoring Services provides a therapeutic mentor to work one-on-one with a child. The mentor supports and coaches the child or youth learn social skills, such as better ways to communicate with other children and adults, how to deal with different opinions and how to get along with others.
How to Access These Services:
To access In-Home Behavioral Services or Therapeutic Mentoring, a child or youth must be receiving services from a “clinical hub”, either: outpatient therapy, In-Home Therapy, or Intensive Care Coordination (ICC). The child’s treatment plan, developed by one of these “clinical hub” providers, must include a goal which requires one of the new services to address. Families should talk to their child’s behavioral health provider about these services, or they can call the customer service department of their MassHealth Health Plan. (These numbers are listed at the end of this notice.) Lists of providers of the new services can be found on any of the MassHealth Health Plan’s websites.
In-Home Therapy Will Become Available Nov. 1, 2009
In-Home Therapy (IHT) provides intensive therapy for a child and family to treat the child’s behavioral health needs and help the family support the child in the home. Contact information for In-Home Therapy providers may be found on any of the MassHealth Health Plan’s websites. Families may contact IHT providers directly, or they may call the customer service department of their MassHealth Health Plan for assistance.
CSAs Serving Over 1,600 Children and Youth
The MassHealth Managed Care Entities (MCEs) have reported over 1,691children and youth are currently being served by the 32 Community Service Agencies (CSAs) located across the state. The CSAs began delivering services to MassHealth-enrolled children and youth under age 21 on June 30, 2009. They provide two of the five new MassHealth behavioral health services, Intensive Care Coordination (ICC) and Family Support and Training (Family Partners), to children and youth with serious emotional disturbance (SED). Referrals to the CSAs have remained steady at approximately 200 per week.
Mobile Crisis Intervention Teams Delivering Needed Services
Emergency Service Providers (ESPs) began delivering round-the-clock Mobile Crisis Intervention services on June 30, 2009. Since that time, Mobile Crisis Intervention Teams have recorded over 2,040 mobile crisis interventions or “encounters” with MassHealth-enrolled children and youth under age 21. The MassHealth Managed Care Entities (MCE) and Mobile Crisis Intervention providers are presently working within their communities to educate families, caregivers and others about the availability of crisis services in the home and community. Many people are still accustomed to the previous practice of crisis service delivery through the hospital emergency room.
MCEs Continue to Support Provider Implementation
The MassHealth Managed Care Entities (MCEs) continue to work closely with Intensive Care Coordination (ICC) and Mobile Crisis Intervention providers to implement these two new services. Upcoming MCE plans call for a regional meeting structure that will initially consist of ICC and Mobile Crisis providers and eventually include other service providers to support regional practice. The Massachusetts Behavioral Health Partnership (MBHP) also continues to provide technical assistance to Mobile Crisis Intervention providers through a contract with a leading national expert on this service. Last month, the MCEs hosted a conference for In-Home Behavioral Services, Therapeutic Mentoring and In-Home Therapy providers. The day-long conference included presentations by MCE staff on program specifications and medical necessity criteria as well as presentations by nationally known clinical leaders with expertise in each new service.