Improving Mental Health Care.

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Policy Update

VACBP kicks off 2019 policy development

Looking toward the 2019 Virginia legislative session, the VACBP is launching a process where members will be able to provide input and help to develop the association’s 2019 priorities. In 2018, the association’s positions focused on the following:

·       Support for comprehensive improvements to Virginia’s behavioral health system that include both public- and private-sector providers;
·       Increased investment in early intervention and prevention services;
·       Adoption of measurable, data-driven, outcome-based models to improve behavioral health care, increase efficiency and reduce costs;
·       Support for workforce development and education initiatives to help address the shortage of qualified behavioral health professionals in Virginia; and
·       Improvements to the regulatory process to streamline and simplify regulations governing providers, to encourage input from providers as regulatory changes are considered, and maintain regular and transparent communications between regulators and providers with adequate notification to comply with new or changed regulations.

For more information about the VACBP's policy positions, contact Mike Carlin. 

VACBP Outlines 2018 Policy Priorities

1)      The VACBP supports a comprehensive approach to improving Virginia’s behavioral health system that includes both public and private sector providers of services.

·       Support reimbursement for all services to all licensed providers of behavioral health services, including Targeted Case Management Services (TCM).  Currently, only Community Services Boards (CSBs) are permitted to receive reimbursement for TCM.  Private sector providers perform case management services and are not eligible for reimbursement.  It is a matter of fairness that these services be reimbursed to all providers.

·       Support inclusion of private-sector providers in plans to transform the behavioral health delivery system.  The private sector delivers more than 75 percent of Medicaid reimbursed behavioral health services.  However, the Commonwealth’s transformation plans do not include initiatives to evaluate the whole delivery system which could increase efficiency, access and the overall quality of services. 

2)      The VACBP supports increased investment in early intervention and prevention services to allow individuals to function successfully in their communities and to reduce the need for high-cost services.

·       Support shifting Virginia’s General Fund (GF) commitment, which matches federal Medicaid funds, to more aggressively address behavioral health disorders earlier.  This can help individuals function successfully in their communities and reduce the demand for higher cost services. 
3)      The VACBP supports adoption of measurable, data-driven, outcome-based care models, such as the VACBP’s Competitive Credibility Data Program (CCDP), to ensure the most appropriate and cost-effective services and supports are provided to improve an individual’s health and reduce cost.

·       Support measuring outcomes which will improve services, reduce costs, and create more consistent public and private-sector accountability across the entire system of care.

4)      The VACBP supports workforce development and education initiatives that can better address the demand for qualified behavioral health and substance abuse treatment professionals in Virginia. 

·       Support existing and develop new workforce training and education incentives and programs that will produce more qualified professionals in the areas of behavioral health and substance abuse treatment. The serious shortage of these professionals has a direct impact on access to early intervention lower cost care and results in increased demand for higher cost services.

5)      The VACBP supports continued improvements to the regulatory process, further streamlining and simplifying regulations and promoting clear and consistent communications between regulators and providers, including adequate notification of regulatory and guidance document changes, and opportunities for providers to provide input on proposed changes that will impact their organizations and the delivery of services.

·       Support initiatives that streamline and simplify regulations and improve the clarity and effectiveness of communications.