State's Behavioral Health Redesign Now In Testing Mode

Oct 24, 2017

Ohio Medicaid Director Barbara Sears testifies before the Joint Medicaid Oversight Committee
Credit Ohio Public Radio

The state is redesigning the way mental health and addiction services critical in fighting the opioid crisis are covered under health insurance plans.

Testing is needed before implementing the new system. Ohio Public Radio's Andy Chow reports.

The so-called Behavioral Health Redesign intends to bring these services to national standards and expand access. But it involves compensating those services through a different coding system, which could mean delays in payment.


Ohio’s health-related departments told a panel of lawmakers that they’re in the middle of testing the program to make sure things go smoothly.


Republican Senator Dave Burke is part of that panel. He says these service providers operate on narrow margins and must be paid on time.


Burke: “If we had a disruption in the billing cycle because of a coding issue that could be three to four weeks before they find out on a claim that they didn’t get paid.”


The redesign is go into full effect next July.