Community Care Publications

Community Care Publication Abstracts

2024 | 2023 2022 | 2021 | 2020

Organizational change strategies to support high-quality behavioral health care for LGBTQ individuals

There is growing recognition of the need to provide high quality behavioral health care for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer/Questioning (LGBTQ) individuals. Research suggests that the LGBTQ community experiences high levels of psychological distress, psychological trauma, and other mental health symptoms as a result of minority stress. Despite these findings, the LGBTQ community continues to face barriers when seeking affirming behavioral health treatment. Using an established framework, this commentary highlights one behavioral health managed care organization's (BHMCO) work towards organizational change in the hopes of creating an affirming and inclusive environment for individuals influenced by the BHMCO (e.g., staff, members, behavioral health providers). In this commentary, we: (1) discuss the importance and role of insurers in promoting strategies to increase and deliver high quality care for LBGTQ individuals, (2) outline the steps our organization took to implement changes, (3) highlight the lessons learned throughout this process, and (4) provide recommendations for future efforts.

Evaluating readmission rates for a statewide in-home eco-systemic family-based treatment program for youth with serious emotional disturbance. 

Family Based Mental Health Services (FBMHS) with an embedded clinical model, Ecosystemic Structural Family Therapy, is an intervention designed for youth with a serious emotional disturbance (SED) who are at risk of out-of-home placement. The current evaluation examines the association between receipt of FBMHS and rates of out-of-home and community-based care during and after an episode of FBMHS. We identified 25,016 Medicaid-enrolled youth ages 3 to 17 years with receipt of a new FBMHS episode from 1/1/2015 to 6/30/2021. 14% of youth received out-of-home services. Rates of out-of-home service decreased during receipt of FBMHS (14.25–6.98%, p < .0001) and remained lower 6 months following discharge (to 6.95%, p < .0001). Short and longer doses of service were both associated with decreased rates of out-of-home services. FBMHS has been scaled across a large geographic area and is associated with lower rates of out-of-home placement for youth with SED.

Peer support to reduce readmission in Medicaid-enrolled adults with substance use disorders. 
Introduction: Peer support service in substance use disorder systems (PS SUD) is an optional supplement to treatment services for Medicaid-enrolled individuals across Pennsylvania. The value of PS SUD was defined through association with improved service utilization patterns. We examined service utilization in a subset of individuals receiving PS SUD following an acute service (hospitalization or withdrawal management) compared to utilization in propensity score-matched controls via an observational analysis. 

Methods: We identified all Medicaid-enrolled adults with receipt of PS SUD from 2016 to 2019 and included those with prior acute service (n = 349); the study successfully matched all to individuals receiving outpatient SUD services without peer support (n = 698). Individuals were matched on age, gender, race, ethnicity, diagnosis, and prior utilization of acute care. A large number of individuals receiving PS SUD (74 %) had co-occurring mental health diagnoses, which we included in matching. We examined service utilization rates via administrative paid claims data for both groups in the first 90 days following peer support/outpatient discharge. Results: Acute service utilization differed between groups over time, p = .0014. 

We observed a larger reduction in the rate of acute care during PS SUD service (8.6 %) versus outpatient service (21.2 %), with lower rates remaining 90 days following PS SUD (13.8 %) or outpatient Community Care Behavioral Health Organization discharge (16.8 %). Individuals receiving PS SUD showed connection to community-based services in the 90 days following discharge from PS SUD, including 45.0 % receiving outpatient SUD and 31.8 % receiving outpatient mental health services. Conclusions: Peer support may help individuals to navigate the behavioral health system and reduce hospitalization or other restrictive levels of care.