NJ: "Fee-For-Service" will mean Service for Some
The State of New Jersey is rolling out a new Fee-for-Service funding model, which is substantially reducing the number of state dollars dedicated to the community mental health system with the expectation that Federal Medicaid money will fill the gap.
What does this mean?
This means that there will be holes in the safety net that supports many individuals who receive mental health services in the community. Providers will be expected to pick up the outstanding balances resulting from insufficient repayment rates, and patients without Medicaid will likely have a harder time finding sufficient mental health care.
It is imperative that the State not only delay the implementation of Fee-for-Service, but also keep their investment and involvement in the community mental health system.
For a more detailed analysis, please follow the link:
Mental Health, Addiction Agencies Facing Problems With New Billing Reforms
State Overview of Transition to Fee-for-Service
Although the State has made efforts to create a plan that will support the system, the proposed rates are still too low and will put providers in a position of having to close access to certain programs, specifically outpatient programs.
It is also important to note that the strict regulations and qualifications for Medicaid will create more challenges for working class individuals and families seeking services and support. The bottom line is that the numbers simply do not add up, and the summation of these issues will be a community mental health crisis: care that is less accessible and less affordable for all.
The decision to make this transition is in the name of "Saving Money", with the goal of being able to stretch the funding further. But will it save money? We think not. In fact, studies have shown that when people with mental illness do not receive proper care, there could be even greater costs that the State will have to pay:
We are petitioning the State to delay the implementation of Fee-for-Service, to reconsider some of the proposed rates, and ultimately to keep the State's investment and involvement in the community mental health system.
Without proper action, the current decisions may leave your friends and family unable to afford the care they need or unable to access the doctors who can help. If you know of someone enrolled in mental health services, please forward this petition and encourage as many signatures as you can!