The state is shifting more money and resources toward prevention and early identification of mental health issues and rolling out a behavioral health claims "tool kit" to help simplify the process of insurance reimbursement.
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced the extra resources, which include two grants for the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration totaling $9 million, on Monday.
The behavioral health claims toolkit is free and was developed by the Connecticut Insurance Department, the UConn Health Center and health-insurance companies. Malloy said the goal is the provide a "step-by-step plain-language template" that families and providers can use to submit to insurance companies for preauthorization of certain behavioral health services.
“Protecting the well-being of our children and improving the quality of life for their families have been the overarching goals of my administration and the need for these services has become even more evident after the Newtown tragedy. These resources are a clear example of the compassionate collaboration required to achieve these goals,” Malloy said in a news release. “With the arrival of the Affordable Care Act, more of our citizens will have health insurance and tool kit is another resource they can use in accessing the treatment. The addition of these grants will enable Connecticut to more effectively reach out to young adults who need mental health support and bolster safe school environments.”
The toolkit can be downloaded on the Insurance Department's website and through health-insurance carriers.
The state will use a three-year, $966,660 Early Diversion grant to promote training, consultation and early identification of mental health problems in children and young adults. DMHAS will collaborate with the National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI) and law enforcement Crisis Intervention Teams (CITs) to implement the grant. CITs are partnerships between local law enforcement and community behavioral health providers. The CIT’s work to link individuals with mental health problems to community services instead of arresting these individuals. NAMI will train CITs across the state, increasing their ability to engage young adults in treatment when needed.
The Safe Schools/Healthy Students award is a four-year, $8 million grant to be administered by DMHAS in partnership with the State Department of Education (SDE), the State of Connecticut Judicial Branch Court Support Services Division (CSSD), and the Local Education Agencies (LEAs) of Bridgeport, Middletown, and New Britain. Its goal is to create safe and supportive schools and communities for children and adolescents through grade 12. The grant will allow implementation of activities, services and strategies that decrease youth violence and promote healthy development of children and youth.