Source: NJTV News – Mental health and addiction agencies are banding together to stop the state from transitioning to a fee-for-service health care model. That’s the system that moves away from predetermined contract fees by drawing down federal dollars. Instead it requires doctors to charge for each service provided — like tests or scans. Some experts say that leaves big gaps for state reimbursements.
“The model works in theory, but in practice the system — the mental health system is going to lose tens of million of dollars in revenue that’s going to affect people with mental illness and their families,” said Lou Schwarcz, CEO of the Mental Health Association of Morris County.
At a legislative breakfast in Bergen County, community health care providers and families in need of mental health services hoped to convince lawmakers that state funding cuts to charity care and the fee-for-service change would hit mental health services hard…
Patients with mental health and substance use disorder now account for nearly half of the growth in hospital emergency room visits. According to a new report from the NJ Hospital AssociationED visits increased by 117,000 patients from 2014 to 2015. Nearly 54,000 or almost 46 percent were cases of mental health or substance use disorder.
“We have such a significant issue with mental health services, drug addiction. They’re tied in together and so its something where by we need to assure we have the adequate providers and services available for our constituents,” said Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi…
Event organizers say they’ve collected more than a thousand signatures on a petition from folks who will be personally affected hoping to influence the governor and legislature to keep contract dollars intact. Saying that if the financial ramifications don’t appeal to them, perhaps the human expense will.