DHMH Launches New Administrative Services Organization for Maryland's Public Behavioral Health System

 
Baltimore, MD (January 1, 2015) – The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) today launched the Behavioral Health Integration, which creates a single financing structure for mental health and substance use disorder treatment in Medicaid.
“This represents a huge next step in the department’s vision of a fully integrated, service delivery system for Medicaid recipients,” said Charles E. Lehman, DHMH’s Acting Deputy Secretary for Health Care Financing, which houses Maryland’s Medicaid program.
 
Under the Behavioral Health Integration, Medicaid will oversee funding for both mental health and substance use disorder treatment through an Administrative Services Organization. This organization will function as a single point of entry for both providers and consumers within the Public Behavioral Health System. This will reduce the administrative burden to providers because the new organization will oversee the authorization of services, data collection and claims submission, as well as the payment of claims.
 
DHMH, through the Administrative Service Organization, also will provide a number of resources to help improve care coordination. These include:                                                                            
  • A single phone number, available 24 hours a day, for consultation and referral. Through the Engagement Center, which will be staffed both by Maryland-based clinicians, providers will receive consultations and referrals for clinical questions, as well as administrative personnel to help with financing issues.
  • Greater access to pharmacy data for behavioral health providers. Starting January 1, the Administrative Services Organization will make pharmacy data available to treatment programs. The ASO has created an integrated care management system named Spectrum that will enable a physician in a mental health or substance use disorder program to quickly look up whether one of her or his patients is on blood pressure medication, medication for seizures or other conditions. Such knowledge promotes continuity of care. Programs interested in learning more about how to use this feature can call (800) 888-1965 and ask to speak with a provider services representative.
     
  • Tools for screening for depression, addiction and other conditions. On the ValueOptions website – http://maryland.valueoptions.com/ – all health care providers in Maryland can access simple and effective tools to screen for depression, addiction and other conditions.
Together, these resources will result in improved clinical care for individuals within the Public Behavioral Health System, leading to better health outcomes for some of Maryland’s most vulnerable citizens.
 

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WCHD News

Snow Hill, MD – The Worcester County Health Department is requesting mini-grant proposals from community-based organizations, workplaces, churches, or other interested organizations for youth teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted infection (STI) prevention education: Promoting Health Among Teens-Comprehensive education (PHAT-C). To be eligible for up to $2,500 in grant funding, your program must be an organization which serves young people in Worcester County. Funded organizations will be expected to deliver the PHAT-C education program to a minimum of 12-15 Worcester County youth ages 12-19.

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Snow Hill, MD-The Worcester County Health Department (WCHD) requests smoking cessation, education and enforcement proposals for grant funding through Cigarette Restitution Funds by way of the Maryland Department of Health. Community-based organizations, churches, private groups, non-profits, and workplaces are encouraged to apply.

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(July 31, 2019 Snow Hill, MD) – The Worcester County Health Department received notification from the State of Maryland that a mosquito pool in the Whaleyville area of Worcester County recently tested positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE). This is the first positive test for EEE in Worcester in 2019.

Arboviruses, such as the EEE virus, are most common during the summer and fall months. The viruses are transmitted by infected mosquitoes and spread to humans, birds, horses and other animals. Since mosquitoes can breed in as little as a quarter inch of water, eliminating standing water is critical for the control of mosquito populations. Many factors impact when and where outbreaks occur, such as weather, numbers of mosquitoes that spread the virus, and human behavior.

The Worcester and Wicomico County Health Department provides the following tips to help prevent contact with mosquitoes and reduce risk of infection with EEE or other mosquito borne illnesses:

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(Snow Hill, MD)- Worcester County Emergency Service officials urge residents to exercise extreme caution and check on elderly and infirm neighbors during the heatwave forecasted to last through Sunday. Heat indexes for the shore are expected to rise above 100 degrees this week and exposure to extreme heat can be dangerous for humans and animals, even deadly.

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Extreme Heat often results in the highest number of annual deaths among all weather-related hazards. In most of the United States, extreme heat is defined as a long period (2 to 3 days) of high heat and humidity with temperatures above 90 degrees. In extreme heat, evaporation is slowed and the body must work extra hard to maintain a normal temperature. This can lead to death by overworking the human body. Remember that:

Extreme heat can occur quickly and without warning.

Older adults, children, and sick or overweight individuals are at greater risk from extreme heat.

Humidity increases the feeling of heat as measured by a heat index.

IF YOU ARE UNDER AN EXTREME HEAT WARNING:

  • Find air conditioning.
  • Avoid strenuous activities.
  • Watch for heat illness.
  • Wear light clothing.
  • Check on family members and neighbors.
  • Drink plenty of fluids.
  • Watch for heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heatstroke.
  • Never leave people or pets in a closed car.

Learn more tips for staying cool and safe during extreme heat by clicking the image below

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 Lower Shore Health Insurance Assistance Program