Now that the transition to a new Behavioral Health Authority in Maricopa County is underway- we’re turning our attention to bringing integrated care to the rest of the state. We’ll be working hard throughout 2014 to set the course for integrating behavioral health and physical health for folks with a serious mental illness as we select behavioral health authorities in the rest of Arizona – it’s called the “Greater Arizona RFP.”
We’ve decided that the Greater Arizona RFP will include integration of behavioral and physical health for folks with a serious mental illness- much like the Maricopa County contract. People in the general mental health or substance abuse categories will get behavioral health services from the RBHA and their physical health care from an AHCCCS acute care health plan.
We’re also planning to consolidate several of the current Geographic Service Areas (GSAs). We’re likely to have a total of 3 service zones (North, South, & Maricopa)- rather than the current 6. We’re also going to ensure that tribal land aligns with the GSAs. Of course- tribes wishing to continue as a Tribal Behavioral Health Authority would continue as-is. Finally, we’re inclined to include a provision in the solicitation that makes it clear awardees will only be able to hold a contract in 1 GSA. We’ve also made some decisions regarding how we’ll be dealing with Medicare issues.
We plan on issuing the Request for Proposal (RFP) in July, review the proposals from October through December, and award the contracts just before the New Year- with an October 1, 2015 start date. Stay tuned. There’s still more work to be done- and some decisions to be made before we put the procurement on the street this Summer.