Health Care Reform
With the implementation of the Low Income Health Plan (LIHP) under the 1115 Waiver, the Department of Mental Health (DMH) joins the Department of Health Services (DHS) in moving closer to true integrated primary care-behavioral health services. Effective July 1, 2011, mental health services became a mandated component of the LIHP, available to all individuals enrolled in Healthy Way LA (HWLA) who meet mental health medical necessity criteria. Los Angeles County residents from 19-64 years old, whose income is at or below 133% of the Federal Poverty Level, with a valid government-issued identification and proof of residence are eligible for enrollment into HWLA.
Why Deliver Integrated Care? The Business Case for Collaboration
There are many reasons for delivering integrated primary and behavioral health care. Some of the compelling arguments for moving in this direction include:
- Integrated care improves the health outcomes of our population. Those with serious mental illness die (on average) 25 years earlier than the general population; delivering integrated care results in better access to needed primary care and the ability to ensure that treatment interventions (e.g., medication management, laboratory tests) are coordinated, reducing adverse outcomes.
- Integrated care decreases the per capita cost of healthcare. People diagnosed with depression have almost twice the annual health costs of those without the disorder. Treatment of depression reduces not only the disease burden on society, but also the medical costs associated with their health care.
- Integrated care enhances the quality of care provided to clients. Treating mental health conditions impacts care for other disorders (e.g., successful treatment of depression is correlated with reduction in pain for those with co-morbid disorders).
Links to additional information on the 1115 Waiver: