Restructuring public mental health and substance abuse service systems.J Health Care Finance. 1998 Spring; 24(3):16-26.JH
The authors originally circulated the concepts in this proposal during May 1995. The purpose was to support an open, public dialogue regarding the restructuring of the mental health and substance abuse services in Illinois in anticipation of Medicaid funding changes. Restructuring mental health and substance abuse service systems should follow certain key principles. These principles are applicable to other states, particularly those large in territory and population. The authors propose the temporary use of multiple managed care companies serving as administrative services only (ASO) organizations, each of whom would have responsibility for a given geographic portion of a state. The role of the ASOs would be to organize providers into networks on a regional basis and transfer managed care expertise in financing and clinical management to the relevant state departments and provider groups. Changes in the service delivery system would be phased in over time with reorganization of key components of the system during each phase. Where the provision of mental health, substance abuse, and social services is split among multiple state agencies, these agencies would be merged to achieve unified funding and administrative efficiency. Patients and advocacy organizations would play a key role in overseeing and shaping system restructuring at all levels, including a governmental board reporting to the governor, overseeing ASO organizations' operations and assuring quality and access at the provider level. The authors propose funding of public behavioral health services through use of a tiered, integrated funding model.