As I’ve mentioned in previous updates, the service package for folks with serious mental illnesses that don’t qualify for our state Medicaid program (AHCCCS) is being reduced beginning July 1 because of budget reductions. As a result, it’s more important than ever to make sure that everybody that may qualify has the opportunity top get Medicaid benefits (the more robust service package). That’s why we’ve been pressing our contractors (regional behavioral health authorities (RBHAs)) to canvass as many people as possible in case they qualify for the full benefit package. All of the RBHAs have been making these efforts- but I thought I’d give you an example of what’s been happening in the Valley.
As an example of what some of the contractors are doing… last spring and summer Magellan completed an organized AHCCCS eligibility screening initiative that increased enrollment from 52% to 61%. They screened 75% of the folks that hadn’t yet qualified and successfully converted 1,541 to Medicaid eligibility, found that another 2,623 were eligible (pending an application), 1,258 were potentially eligible (application pursued) and that 2,249 (37%) were financially ineligible for enrollment in Medicaid.
Following the 2009 screening initiative, they better integrated routine screening of people that weren’t enrolled in AHCCCS and began a second effort to re-screen folks for Medicaid. As of last week, 72% (6,070) of the folks had been screened (along with other transition service work). In this most recent screening, 880 of those screened (11%) were successfully enrolled. These efforts are on-going.
Administrative Conversion Efforts
We’re encouraging our RBHAs to use the subscription version of the Health-e-Arizona website at https://www.healthearizona.org/app/Default.aspx, which walks applicants through the application process and provides assistance on how to submit necessary documents (i.e., social security card) and prints bar coded fax cover sheets that tie back to the application so documents are not lost in the submission process. It also does a cross-check with other benefit programs and lets applicants know if they might qualify for other programs. As of this week, all of the RBHAs have either signed up for the subscription service or have responded and are on their way.
For example, Magellan amended their contracts earlier this year to pay for 25 new eligibility specialists for the clinic sites to track & convert when possible. They started using the subscription Health-e Arizona service last summer at some of their sites and are now adding 60 individual subscription licenses to bring the total available to 75. Each of the clinic sites are designating key Health-e Arizona staff experts who will receive orientation Friday (June 4).