Mental Health Roundtable | Behavioral Health Redesign

What Mental Health Providers Need to be Talking About

Published on by Rachael Cruse in Not-for-Profit

What Mental Health Providers Need to be Talking About
  Reading time 3 minutes

In February of 2018, Barnes Dennig connected CFOs of local mental health organizations to promote knowledge sharing and foster new ideas and best practices.  This was one of Barnes Dennig’s recurring luncheons, with previous topics including treasury management, Health Home and ICD-10.

There were several hot-button topics that came up in the roundtable discussion, including:

  • Agencies are adapting well to roll-out of part one of the Behavioral Health Redesign (BHR), which became effective January 1, 2018, and finding little disruption in their billing and payment outcomes thus far as a result of advanced planning.
    • About half of agencies are billing through the new codes, and the other half of agencies are using contingency plan payments, which are set to expire in April of 2018
  • The real cash flow constrictions are expected to be realized shortly after the second part of the BHR goes into place on July 1, 2018, when agencies begin working directly with Managed Care Organizations (MCOs) for billing and payment instead of directly with the state.
    • Precise payment lag time is still unknown and will vary, but providers shared estimates of 60-90 days after service rendered as a good planning benchmark.  These estimates are based on testimonials from consultants who have worked through the redesign process in other states.
    • Marketing efforts need to be ramping up now in order to build a pipeline of clients. Many services will be limited in duration or quantity of visits going forward; therefore, having a strategic plan in place to gain a greater volume of clients is one of the only ways to sustain the organization’s current operating levels.
    • Participating in a collaborative with other providers to contract and negotiate with MCOs could help bring some predictability and favorable terms to contracts that an individual provider could have difficulty achieving on its own.
  • Consultants may still be a valuable tool for providers working through the BHR process with some areas of focus including:
    • How to adjust hiring practices to get the right level of expertise at the right cost under the new billing codes,
    • How to think like an MCO, i.e. how to make money,
    • Developing a value statement for what’s important to MCOs that providers can utilize when negotiating contracts, and;
    • Reevaluating best outcomes for services based on a limited amount of time and money to render services.

Suggest a Topic

Our next luncheon will be held in the fall of 2018.  Do you have a topic you would like to discuss with the group?  Please contact Rachael Cruse at


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