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Here are the facts about Behavioral health in Ohio, what is the state doing to improve it and how will it affect you?
With 2.3 million Ohioans affected by Mental illness, Drug addiction or both that’s nearly 1 out of every 4 residents, there isn’t a person in Ohio not touched by behavioral health issues. The current system has many gaps with over half the people who need help don’t get it, and many people end up in expensive emergency rooms.
Since the 1960’s Ohio has moved slowly from being a mental institution state to a community based services state with only 8% of our residents receiving care from inpatient facilities.
In 2006 the state began investing $1.75 Billion for behavioral health services, In 2013-14 the state increased funding to $2.2 Billion, without that increase Ohio would be in 15th place on the behavioral health spending list, behind Minnesota and Indiana.
This increase covers all aspects of mental health care from Children and Adolescent services to Adult and Substance abuse treatment services for all ages. But there are still some holes in the system.
This new system is based on 11 regions, and each region is supposed to provide services in three areas of mental health care: Prevention Services for healthy development, Early Intervention when help is needed before a crisis, Helps people get control over their life again after they’ve been through a crisis.
By 2020 Ohio hoped to have 32 full-time clinical staff per 10,000 residents, that’s 3 times the number of the current level. And Ohio would have 5 inpatient beds per 1000 people, 4 times today’s levels.
From 2013 – 2015 there was an additional $40 Million provided to community based providers of mental health services for children and adolescents through a grant program called ” The Ohio Children’s Behavioral Health Initiative”.
How we pay for behavioral health care has changed, Medicaid will now cover far more services and that should help people who have trouble getting the needed care because they don’t have Insurance. There are some restrictions on the new coverage and eligibility will vary according to your age and other factors.
The biggest change for Ohio behavioral health occured n 2014 is the expansion of Medicaid to Cover more people, with this change some people who couldn’t afford to get treatment now can.
The expansion will help an estimated 380,000 Ohioans and save $444 Million in uncompensated care costs for emergency rooms and hospitals. And it allows all Medical Providers to bill Medicaid at a rate that is about 80 percent of their costs.
One thing the expansion does not do is provide any funds for Ohio to help people get coverage, this will be entirely up to the State and its’ local governments. The Federal Government will pay 100 Percent of the Expanded Medicaid costs for the first 3 years then it will gradually decreased to 90 percent in 2020.
There are a number of changes and new services coming to Ohio Behavioral health, many will be big steps forward for many people who desperately need help.
There is still more work to do so we can get better care to the ones who need it most and improve our system enough that all Ohioans have access to good behavioral health services. Contact Path to find out the latest programs and financing to get the help you need.