YMCA Mental Health Programs Look To Join MCO Networks

There’s a litany of new types of mental health providers and programs seeking health plan network status and this has put operational pressure on health plans to review applications. Many of the applications are unique programs rather than traditional providers, like psychologists. In December, several Anthem plans stopped accepting network applications for mental health providers, except medication therapy management programs. Several plans have since lifted this and are evaluating applications today. Eight of 10 plans interviewed in early February said they are getting a wider variety of behavioral health network applications from programs like respite services to help transition people post crisis to specialized providers focused on adolescent anger. In two northeastern states, YMCA programs are contemplating joining health plan networks as a way to increase referrals to their after school sports, arts and leisure programs targeting teens, programs that have shown good outcomes in recent years with individuals suffering from bipolar, autism and other conditions. In a poll of 23 YMCA regional directors, 19 said they have discussed or will discuss the idea of applying to be part of a health plan network in 2015 or 2016 as a way to generate reimbursement and increase awareness of their programs. This is not a new phenomenon. In 2011, the Western NY BCBS organization partnered with the local Y program to address diabetes. Click here for the background on that.

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