The Community Mental Health Fund is a public resource responsible to the taxpayers of Jackson County. This means the Fund and its contracting agencies must have high standards for effective services, participant experience, and managing costs. The Community Mental Health Fund is always working for improvement. We strive for community leadership in delivering equity and value for people being served with public funds.
- Applicant Agencies must have thorough knowledge of Jackson County’s mental health needs, hire credentialed staff, and demonstrate detailed financial and treatment records. They must also have the ability to competently address the mental health needs of a diverse population.
- On-Site Audits: Each contract agency is audited on-site, multiple times per year. Treatment, funds expended, staff credentials, consumer residence, and other matters are reviewed. The Provider Questionnaire provides additional information about services and outcomes.
- Performance: Expenditures are reported and tracked in our electronic billing system. Agencies in contract compliance are reimbursed, subject to audit.
We carry out special projects to help us better support effective practices, maximize limited resources and coordinate with other sources of support. Here are a few recent accountability projects and initiatives.
More than one-fifth of Community Mental Health Fund support goes for case management. Yet across our provider network this key service is not well understood or defined. Payment rates vary widely and we have not established quality benchmarks. In order for case management to be a building block for value-based care, we are considering tiered reimbursement.
The initiative is a work in progress. We have done an internal Cost Analysis and will revise this in the near future. We are working with Resource Development Institute to help organize and explain the many approaches that are being used, and understand their evidence base. We have a preliminary model for further exploring the concept of Case Management Tiers
Examining Value of Mental Health Services
The Value Project Report was completed in 2017. This qualitative study looked at ways mental health agencies define and measure success. Provider-participant relationships emerged as a very important factor, yet there can be high turnover in key staff positions where relationships matter most. We also found indications that it would be helpful to find ways to support improved strategies for participant engagement.
Peer Support and Telepsychiatry
We recently added two new Service Unit Definitions to assist applicants interested in including these evidence-based services in funding applications. Telepsychiatry reimbursement is set at an industry-competitive rate. Peer support operates from a clinical mental health provider agency, is trained/certified, is part of a team approach, and receives/provides coaching and feedback on self-care and recovery.
We studied Levy-funded services in three alternative schools and legal rights of parents. From this project we updated documentation of parent consent and school communication.