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OhioRISE announces new Care Management Entities

OhioRISE announces new Care Management Entities

At a news conference today hosted by the Ohio Department of Medicaid, PCSAO Executive Director Angela Sausser expressed support for new Care Management Entities (CMEs) that will coordinate care for youth with significant behavioral health needs, including those in foster care.

ODM Director Maureen Corcoran announced the 20 CMEs through which new OhioRISE Medicaid managed care services will be provided to qualifying youth starting in July. Ohio’s first-ever integrated program to help children who have complex and serious behavioral health needs, OhioRISE (Resilience through Integrated Systems and Excellence) is part of Ohio’s next generation of managed care. It will feature intensive care coordination in 20 regions covering the entire state, with both new and enhanced behavioral health services; it will also offer a new Medicaid waiver program that will help families prevent custody relinquishment.

Sausser was one of several invited guests at the news conference and delivered the following remarks:

“Youth get better outcomes when they are able to stay with their families or live in a safe, family environment with the right treatment options. They should not be bounced from one placement to the next without the consistency and coordination of care and choice. Families are frantically trying to find treatment options for youth with significant challenges, like mental health, without being forced to relinquish custody to children services in order to access treatment. Children services agencies would prefer to be able to access the most appropriate level of care without having to call 50-100 providers, and we prefer not to have to drive a child two or three hours away from their family or community to access services. Right now, it feels as though we are all on our own island, struggling to find any available service to minimize the crisis.

“Last year, 1 in 4 children entered foster care primarily due to behavioral health needs, developmental/intellectual disabilities, or as a diversion from juvenile corrections. Children services agencies spend a considerable amount of time and resources trying to access services to meet the needs of these youth with multi-system, high-acuity needs. We are definitely not experts in mental health, developmental/intellectual disabilities or juvenile justice. Yet we are often trying to find the best option to prevent a child from having to spend one or more nights in a public children services agency or having to send a youth out of state for treatment.

“This is why we are grateful to Gov. DeWine and Director Corcoran for their leadership in creating OhioRISE to improve outcomes for youth with significant behavioral health needs, including those at risk of removal from their homes or in foster care. OhioRISE will strengthen Ohio’s continuum of care for children with multi-system needs, which has been desperately needed as documented in our reform plan released in 2018.

“We are excited by the announcement of the new Care Management Entities; and are confident that the aspirations of this program will meet many of the significant needs of youth we see across Ohio. The Care Management Entities may be the key to getting us off our own island by providing comprehensive coordination of care that is child-centered, family-involved and leads to customized youth-centered treatment plans with strategies for stepping youth out of higher levels of care when they have met their therapeutic goals. They will also coordinate access to a variety of OhioRISE services to ensure youth can remain with family, such as mobile crisis services, intensive home-based treatment services, and respite.

“This coordination of care will need to be swift and nimble as crises escalate quickly and children and families can’t wait, but we believe this can be achieved. We are optimistic that OhioRISE and the CMEs will become the bridge to reducing crisis, reducing custody relinquishment, and improving access to treatment services. We are pleased to be part of this specialty program, and we look forward to working with the new Care Management Entities.”