Behavioral Health

HMA annual conference on innovations in publicly sponsored healthcare

Innovations in Publicly Sponsored Healthcare: How Medicaid, Medicare, and Marketplaces Are Driving Value, Equity, and Growth

Pre-Conference Workshop: October 29, 2023
Conference: October 30−31, 2023
Location: Fairmont Chicago, Millennium Park

Health Management Associates has announced the preliminary lineup of speakers for its sixth annual conference, Innovations in Publicly Sponsored Healthcare: How Medicaid, Medicare, and Marketplaces Are Driving Value, Equity, and Growth.

Hundreds of executives from health plans, providers, state and federal government, investment firms, and community-based organizations will convene to enjoy top-notch content, make new connections, and garner fresh ideas and best practices.

A pre-conference workshop, Behavioral Health at the Intersection of General Health and Human Services, will take place Sunday, October 29.

Confirmed speakers to date include (in alphabetical order):

  • Jacey Cooper, State Medicaid Director, Chief Deputy Director, California Department of Health Care Services
  • Kelly Cunningham, Administrator, Division of Medical Programs, Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services
  • Karen Dale, Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer, AmeriHealth Caritas
  • Mitchell Evans, Market Vice-President, Policy & Strategy, Medicaid & Dual Eligibles, Humana
  • Peter Lee, Health Care Policy Catalyst and former Executive Director, Covered California
  • John Lovelace, President, Government Programs, Individual Advantage, UPMC Health Plan
  • Julie Morita, MD, Executive Vice President, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
  • Anne Rote, President, Medicaid, Health Care Service Corp.
  • Drew Snyder, Executive Director, Mississippi Division of Medicaid
  • Tim Spilker, CEO, UnitedHealthcare Community & State
  • Stacie Weeks, Administrator/Medicaid Director, Division of Health Care Financing and Policy, Nevada Department of Health and Human Services
  • Lisa Wright, President and CEO, Community Health Choice

Publicly sponsored programs like Medicare, Medicaid, and the Marketplaces are leading the charge in driving value, equity, and growth in the U.S. healthcare system. This year’s event will highlight the innovations, initiatives, emerging models, and growth strategies designed to drive improved patient outcomes, increased affordability, and expanded access.

Conference Agenda

Early bird registration ends July 31. Questions may be directed to Carl Mercurio at [email protected]. Group rates, government discounts, and sponsorships are available.

Register Now

New experts join HMA in April 2023

HMA is pleased to welcome new experts to our family of companies in April 2023.

Jed Abell – Consulting Actuary
Wakely

Jed Abell is a professional health insurance actuary with over 20 years of experience focusing on Medicare Advantage, Part D, and commercial employer group plans.

Surah Alsawaf – Senior Consultant
HMA

Surah Alsawaf is a senior consultant with experience in creating and implementing regulatory strategies and workflows, conducting reviews and audits, and leading cross-functional teams to complete complex deliverables.

Elrycc Berkman – Consulting Actuary
Edrington

Elrycc Berkman is experienced in Medicaid managed care rate development including managed long-term services and supports (MLTSS) and program of all-inclusive care for the elderly (PACE) rate development.

Monica Bonds – Associate Principal
HMA

Monica Bonds is an experienced managed care professional with over 15 years of experience working in large and diverse organizations.

Yucheng Feng – Senior Consulting Actuary
Wakely

Yucheng Feng has over 15 years of experience providing actuarial support for Medicare Advantage clients, including bid preparation, reserve, actuarial analytics and providing strategic recommendations. Read more about Yucheng.

Melanie Hobbs – Associate Principal
HMA

Melanie Hobbs is an accomplished healthcare executive, consultant, and thought leader specializing in Medicare, Medicaid, and Special Needs Plans (SNPs).

Daniel Katzman – Consulting Actuary
Wakely

Daniel Katzman is experienced in Medicare Advantage bid pricing and modeling as well as claims trend analytics and affordability/cost-savings analysis. Read more about Daniel.

Supriya Laknidhi – Principal
HMA

Supriya Laknidhi has over 20 years of experience in the healthcare industry and a proven track record in driving growth and innovation for companies.

Donald Larsen – Principal
HMA

Dr. Donald Larsen is a C-suite physician executive with over 30 years of experience spanning complex academic medical centers, community health systems, acute care hospitals, and research institutes.

Ryan McEntee – Senior Consultant
Wakely

Ryan McEntee is an experienced managed care executive specializing in strategic leadership within Medicare Advantage plans. Read more about Ryan.

Nicole Oishi – Principal
HMA

Nicole Oishi has over 30 years of experience in senior leadership roles as a healthcare clinician and executive.

Read more about our new HMA colleagues

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Surah Alsawaf

Senior Consultant

Elrycc Berkman

Elrycc Berkman

Consulting Actuary II

Monica Bonds

Monica Bonds

Associate Principal

Melanie Hobbs

Associate Principal

Don Larsen

Donald Larsen

Principal

Child and family wellbeing: May is National Foster Care Month

This is part of an ongoing series highlighting efforts in Human Services and Family Wellbeing. 

During the month of May, National Foster Care Month provides an opportunity to raise awareness on issues related to foster care and to celebrate those who are dedicated to serving our children, youth, and families. Yet it is important to note that unfortunately issues surrounding children and youth experiencing foster care are not limited to one month a year. As noted in our recent child well-being blog, Child welfare services face challenges every day to prevent, treat, and reduce risk of maltreatment, neglect, trauma, housing instability, and violence in communities. All these issues contribute to the significant number of children and youth who enter or remain in the foster care system. These issues are year-round and decades in the making. They need to be seen as a priority for public health and community wellbeing and not just the jurisdiction and responsibility of child welfare agencies.

To positively impact the number of children and youth experiencing foster care, there are some strategies that can be implemented now to promote change:

  • We must meaningfully elevate the voices of those with lived experience to help us design systems that meet their needs. For foster care, working to hear and understand the voices of youth based on how they have experienced foster care will help create opportunities to improve the system from those most impacted. Further, the meaningful elevation of these voices helps to ensure their input is not contributing towards tokenism and re-traumatization.
  • Multi-system involvement is important. We can work together to enhance access, increase prevention-oriented services, improve community health, and well-being, and achieve better outcomes using an equity lens, but proposed system reforms cannot be successful without shared ownership within the community and across government agencies. This requires building a responsive and integrated system of care approach to allow communities to seek solutions with the necessary support of the highest leadership within their organizations.   
  • Continue to find ways to assure that mandated reporters and staff who work within child welfare understand that poverty is not neglect, and poverty alone should not be a reason children and youth are removed from their home(s).
  • System redesign is needed. From front end reporting and assessment, to working with court systems, to building up networks of caring service providers, each component of the current child welfare system and human services partners can strive to find areas needing improvement and collectively change the experiences for children and youth engaged in the child welfare system.
  • Focus on mental health. This year’s theme from the Children’s Bureau for national foster care month is “Strengthening Minds, Uplifting Families” and is dedicated to supporting children and youth mental and behavioral health as the largest unmet need related to foster care. According to the Children’s Bureau, Up to 80 percent of children experiencing foster care have significant mental health issues, compared with approximately 18 to 22 percent of the general population.[1]

HMA can help public sector and community partners align themselves to improve and develop new delivery systems that will work to address inequalities and disparities as communities strive to meet the needs of children, youth and families impacted by issues like mental health and substance use disorder, domestic violence, child abuse and neglect, food insecurity, housing instability, incarceration and other traumas that impact them greatly.

HMA can help support foster care prevention or reunification program efforts in the following ways:

  • Creating additional human service system integration of prevention services to help support families and youth experiencing child welfare interventions or foster care.
  • Increasing Medicaid providers who offer more Evidenced Based and Informed Practices (EBP) among Community Based Organizations (CBO), Providers, and Local Government. 
  • Supporting Managed Care Organizations to develop programs specifically designed to support the wellbeing of children and youth in the foster care system and their families.
  • Connecting the Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA) & Medicaid funding together to ensure that funding supports the need and enhance service implementation.
  • Working to implement School Based Mental Health programs in communities.  We can help convene stakeholders, create process flows, and support the development of sustainable funding for such programs.
  • Increasing the meaningful use of youth voice for true collaboration in system redesign.
  • Enhancing judicial engagement with the child welfare system in a way that supports meaningful youth and family voice and representation in court while maintaining the child welfare system’s responsibilities around assuring child safety.  Making the court process less traumatic for children and youth and more part of a solution for them will support better outcomes.
  • Recognizing longstanding racial inequities in foster care experiences that can and should be addressed holistically in communities and supporting efforts to understand the root causes for the disparities in foster care placement.

Read other parts of this blog series:

If you have questions on how HMA can support your efforts in Child and Family Wellbeing, please contact: Uma Ahluwalia, MSW, MHA, Managing Principal, John Eller, Principal, Jon Rubin, Principal, or Nicole Lehman, Senior Consultant.


[1] Data:  https://www.childwelfare.gov/fostercaremonth/awareness/facts/

Biden administration encourages states to apply for Medicaid Reentry 1115 Demonstration for individuals in carceral settings

This week our In Focus section reviews guidance from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), released on April 17, 2023, encouraging states to apply for the new Medicaid Reentry Section 1115 Demonstration Opportunity. The demonstration is aimed at helping improve care for individuals in carceral settings prior to their release.

Background

The United States has approximately 1.9 million individuals incarcerated nationwide. Studies have shown higher rates of mental illness and physical health care needs in incarcerated populations compared to the general population, as well as associations between jail incarceration and increases in premature death rates from infectious diseases, chronic lower respiratory disease, drug use, and suicide.

CMS states that formerly incarcerated individuals with physical and mental health conditions and substance-use disorders (SUDs) typically have difficulty succeeding upon reentry due to obstacles present immediately at release, such as high rates of poverty and high risk of poor health outcomes. These individuals tend to face barriers in obtaining housing, education, employment, and health care access upon release. They often do not seek outpatient medical care and are at significantly increased risk for emergency department (ED) use and hospitalization.

Purpose and Goals

After collecting feedback from stakeholders, including managed care organizations, Medicaid beneficiaries, health care providers, the National Association of Medicaid Directors, and other representatives from local, state, and federal jail and prison systems, CMS designed the Reentry Section 1115 Demonstration Opportunity. The services covered under this demonstration opportunity should aim to improve access to community resources that address the health care and health-related social needs of the carceral population, with the aims of improving health outcomes, reducing emergency department visits, and inpatient hospital admissions for both physical and behavioral health issues once they are released and return to the community.

The purpose of this demonstration opportunity is to provide short-term Medicaid enrollment assistance and pre-release coverage for certain services to facilitate successful care transitions. The full goals, as quoted from CMS, are as follows:

  • “Increase coverage, continuity of coverage, and appropriate service uptake through assessment of eligibility and availability of coverage for benefits in carceral settings just prior to release
  • Improve access to services prior to release and improve transitions and continuity of care into the community upon release and during reentry
  • Improve coordination and communication between correctional systems, Medicaid systems, managed care plans, and community-based providers
  • Increase additional investments in health care and related services, aimed at improving the quality of care for beneficiaries in carceral settings and in the community to maximize successful reentry post-release
  • Improve connections between carceral settings and community services upon release to address physical health, behavioral health, and health-related social needs
  • Reduce all-cause deaths in the near-term post-release
  • Reduce number of ED visits and inpatient hospitalizations among recently incarcerated Medicaid beneficiaries through increased receipt of preventive and routine physical and behavioral health care”

CMS encourages states to engage with individuals who were formerly incarcerated when contemplating the design and implementation of their proposal. CMS also encourages states to design a broadly defined demonstration population that includes otherwise eligible, soon-to-be former incarcerated individuals. States have the flexibility to target population, such as individuals with specific conditions, but are encouraged to be mindful of undiagnosed conditions. States should have a plan to ensure incarcerated individuals will be enrolled in Medicaid upon their release, applying for Medicaid no later than 45 days before the day of release.

Reentry Section 1115 Demonstration Opportunity

To receive approval for the demonstration, the state proposal must include in the pre-release benefit backage:

  1. Case management to assess and address physical and behavioral health needs and health-related social needs;
  2. Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) services for all types of SUD as clinically appropriate, with accompanying counseling; and
  3. A 30-day supply of all prescription medications that have been prescribed for the beneficiary at the time of release, provided to the beneficiary immediately upon release from the correctional facility.

In addition to these three services states may include other important physical and behavioral health services to cover on a pre-release basis, such as family planning services and supplies, behavioral health or preventive services, including those provided by peer supporters/community health workers, or treatment for Hepatitis C. CMS is also open to states requesting Section 1115 expenditure authority to provide medical supplies, equipment, and appliances.

The Reentry Section 1115 Demonstration opportunity is not intended to shift current carceral health care costs to the Medicaid program. CMS will not approve state proposals to receive federal Medicaid matching funds for any existing carceral health care services funded with state or local dollars unless the state agrees to reinvest the total amount of new federal matching funds received into activities or initiatives that increase access to or improve the quality of health care services for individuals who are incarcerated.

CMS also expects states to refrain from including federal prisons as a setting in which demonstration-covered prerelease services are provided under the opportunity.

States with approved demonstrations will need to submit an implementation plan, a monitoring protocol, quarterly/annual monitoring reports, a mid-point assessment report, an evaluation design, and interim/summative evaluation reports.

California

California became the first state to receive approval for a Section 1115 waiver amendment earlier this year to provide limited Medicaid services to incarcerated individuals for up to 90 days immediately prior to release. The approval period runs through December 31, 2026, timed with the expiration of the CalAIM Medi-Cal waiver demonstration. California’s reentry demonstration initiative aims to provide health care interventions at earlier opportunities for incarcerated individuals to reduce acute services utilization and adverse health outcomes. The state anticipates it will increase coverage and continuity of coverage for eligible beneficiaries, improve care transitions for beneficiaries as they reenter the community, and reduce morbidity and mortality in the near-term post-release.

Pre-release services include comprehensive care management, physical and behavioral clinical consultation, lab and radiology, MAT, community health worker services, and medications and durable medical equipment. A care manager will be assigned to eligible individuals to establish a relationship, understand their health needs, coordinate vital services, and make a plan for community transition, including connecting the individual to a community-based care manager they can work with upon their release. Additionally, all counties implementing Medi-Cal application processes in jails and youth correctional facilities will “suspend” the Medicaid status while an individual is in jail or prison, so that it can be easily “turned on” when they enter the community.

On April 6, 2023, HMA held a webinar titled, “Medicaid authority and opportunity to build new programs for justice-involved individuals.” A replay can be watched here. HMA will announce additional webinars on the topic.

Link to Press Release and Letter

HMA’s CCBHC program implementation support

Implementation

Since the inception of the Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics (CCBHC) model, we’ve been working across the country with designated CCBHCs, to help implement the model in ways that maximize the value of the designation.

We’ve worked with a diverse range of behavioral health providers and other stakeholders in planning for and implementing the CCBHC model both within the demonstration program framework, as well as through federally funded CCBHC-expansion grants. Our team of experts supports providers to leverage the CCBHC model to support their overall agency mission and growth goals. 

APPROACH

HMA’s CCBHC-related support spans a spectrum from strategic planning through grant securing, grant implementation, organizational change management, to demonstration program participation. HMA offers implementation support that is customized to each organization and its unique circumstances, while leveraging our unmatched breadth of experience with Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), CCBHCs, behavioral health treatment and support services, state Medicaid systems, clinical integration, health information technology, quality improvement, healthcare finance, and strategy.

Strategic planning to see how CCBHCs can support each agency to meet its goals

Readiness assessment to best position the agency for CCBHC certification in a competitive landscape

Write SAMHSA proposals to secure CCBHC grant funding

Implementation support in alignment with CCBHC criteria, as well as SAMHSA and state requirements

Ongoing quality improvement to support improvement and advancement of CCBHC programming

Help agencies transition from CCBHC grant funding to a sustainable reimbursement model

In addition, HMA can support a CCBHC implementation with any or all of the following services: financing, workforce recruitment/retention strategies, project management, technical assistance, and health information technology and exchange.

RESULTS

In 2022 alone, we supported behavioral health providers to attain more than $110 million in expansion grant funding they will use in their communities, including over $46 million in CCBHC-planning, development, and implementation grant funding and more than $63 million in CCBHC-improvement and advancement grant funding.

In addition, we have supported more than 20 states to write their CCBHC planning grant applications to initiate a state-run CCBHC model. Most recently, we had 100% success rate for our FY23 planning grant applications, resulting in four states receiving one year planning grants to build a state-run CCBHC model.

Contact our experts:

Kristan McIntosh

Kristan McIntosh

Principal

Kristan McIntosh specializes in behavioral health programming designed to both enhance access to community-based care and facilitate program and organizational … Read more
Josh Rubin

Josh Rubin

Principal

Josh Rubin provides consultation, strategic planning, analysis, and technical assistance to health care purchasers, providers, platforms, and regulators with a … Read more

Integrating behavioral health & general medical care is vital to reach the triple aim

The integration of behavioral health and medical care has emerged as a crucial method for improving health and reducing the cost of care. Integrated care offers solutions and advancements in healthcare delivery by improving access to behavioral healthcare, including scarce psychiatric resources, reducing stigma, and enhancing behavior change in everyday life.

As an emerging standard of care, policy makers, payers, and leaders are expecting organizations to develop evidence based approaches to team based care that can demonstrate health outcomes and cost savings. HMA can help your organization navigate this important culture change. Our multidisciplinary team includes clinical, finance and payment, and policy experts with hands-on experience in integrated care service delivery.

Our integration experts can help your team with:

Readiness assessment

Evidence based policy, finance, and model design

Technical assistance, training, team based care

Operational changes including billing, HIE, credentialing

Measurement based care metrics and evaluation

Cultural change and leadership

We are working with an array of clients on integration

Health plan integration

State departments & statewide implementation

Integrated delivery systems

Hospital based providers

PCMH & FQHC primary care providers

Accountable care organizations

Certified community behavioral health clinics and other BH providers

Department of corrections

Contact our experts:

Marc Avery

Marc Avery

Principal

Marc Avery, MD, is a board-certified psychiatrist and a recognized leader in person-centered, integrated psychiatric care for high needs and … Read more
Jennifer Hodgson

Jennifer Hodgson

Principal

Jennifer Hodgson is a licensed marriage and family therapist who maintained a private practice and taught in higher education for … Read more
Gina Lasky

Gina Lasky

Managing Director, Behavioral Health

Gina Lasky is a licensed psychologist with expertise in public sector behavioral health system design and programming including integration of … Read more

Implementation Accelerator: leadership training through application 

The healthcare industry is constantly evolving and requires a workforce that is responsive and able to lead and adapt to changes. Healthcare professionals are continually asked to incorporate new services, care models, quality measures, and process improvements into daily work. 

While clinical innovations and operational improvements are promising, there is growing recognition of the gap between plans to implement them and actual implementation. 

HMA has extensive leadership, operational, and clinical expertise working directly with health systems, health plans, providers, foundations, community-based organizations, and associations adopt implementation science informed approaches for successful change. 

Drawing on this experience, we developed the HMA Implementation Accelerator, a leadership development framework that utilizes implementation science to address on-the-ground challenges and lead successful implementation efforts. 

The importance of leadership is noted in just about every discussion of implementation. The absence of leadership support is a well-documented barrier, and success is attributed to the presence of leadership support.

– Active Implementation Research Network

HMA Implementation Accelerator

PEOPLE

Leadership development

Build knowledge, skills, and abilities and apply them to implementation

Change agent engagement and development

Identify formal and informal leaders to inform, support and influence engagement

Implementation approach training

Build knowledge and skills critical to successful implementation

PROCESS

Project management

Develop or enhance structures and approach to guide implementation

Continuous improvement and critical feedback

Integrate structures and practices that facilitate continuous improvement, sustain momentum, and highlight critical adaptation

Communication planning

Plan and deploy intentional, pro-active communication strategies to effectively guide and support implementation

Tool development

Identify, develop, and deploy tools that support effective implementation and create efficiencies for implementation teams

Sustainability planning

Pro-actively plan for sustainability from outset

PURPOSE

Executive sponsorship

Engage and activate sponsorships for critical support and resources

Align implementation with mission

Connect implementation efforts to a larger “why” in alignment with mission

What’s included

Conceptual framework to guide implementation process

Strategies to develop effective sponsorship at the executive or senior leadership level to mitigate barriers and resource effort

Leadership skill development at the level of implementation

Processes to enhance effective ownership and commitment at all levels

Prioritization of change initiatives

Clear accountability of actions in implementation

Continuous quality improvement as part of implementation

Sustainability planning from the start

Research shows that successful leadership development occurs when the learning can be directly applied to active work processes, which aligns with how adults learn most effectively.

Through the Implementation Accelerator, we use a combination of interactive training, peer learning, and coaching to support hands-on learning. The integration of leadership development and implementation science provides a robust opportunity to develop and sustain leadership skills and develop an organizational methodology to guide both current and future implementation efforts.

Contact our experts:

Suzanne Daub

Suzanne Daub

Principal

Suzanne Daub is a leading expert and nationally recognized trainer in integrated healthcare who knows how to help clients design, … Read more
Marsha Johnson

Marsha Johnson

Managing Principal

Marsha Johnson is a leader in complex care program development, integrated health delivery, curriculum development, and workforce and leadership development. … Read more
Elizabeth Wolff

Elizabeth Wolff

Principal

Elizabeth Wolff, MD, MPA is a physician executive who utilizes her expertise in population health, quality improvement, and practice operations to … Read more

Demonstrating quality, value, and equity in behavioral health

HMA’s team of over 50 behavioral health experts have direct experience in behavioral health policy, clinical program design and delivery, quality improvement and financing. Our breadth of expertise, including authors of NCQA’s Behavioral Health Quality Framework to Promote Joint Accountability, positions us well to support the design, delivery and payment of high quality behavioral health care.

We help clients demonstrate the value of their behavioral health care through:

Accreditation Readiness

Meet accreditation standards and demonstrate compliance

Analyze and use behavioral health-specific HEDIS, CAHPS/ECHO, HOS, ASAM/CARF to inform QI

Use key data sources to drive performance improvement plans

Use of Behavioral Health Quality Tools

Behavioral health network adequacy and equitable access

Integration of behavioral health, physical health and social needs

Measurement-based care

Patient outcomes

Cohesive Strategy Development

Behavioral health quality strategy planning aligned with organizational mission and vision

Standardized performance metrics

Value-based care and payment incentives

Pragmatic regulatory tools and policies

HMA is positioned to support

State and municipal departments of health and public health

Health plans & Managed Care Organizations

Health systems

Provider organizations

Community-based organizations

Certified community behavioral health clinics

Correctional health

Accreditation Readiness

Meet accreditation standards and demonstrate compliance

Analyze and use behavioral health-specific HEDIS, CAHPS/ECHO, HOS, ASAM/CARF to inform QI

Use key data sources to drive performance improvement plans

Use of Behavioral Health Quality Tools

Behavioral health network adequacy and equitable access

Integration of behavioral health, physical health and social needs

Measurement-based care

Patient outcomes

Cohesive Behavioral Health Quality Strategy Development

Behavioral health quality strategy planning aligned with organizational mission and vision

Standardized performance metrics

Value-based care and payment incentives

Pragmatic regulatory tools and policies

HMA is positioned to support

State and municipal departments of health and public health

Health plans & Managed Care Organizations

Health systems

Provider organizations

Community-based organizations

Certified community behavioral health clinics

Correctional health

Contact our experts:

Rachel Bembas

Rachel Bembas

Principal

Rachel Bembas is a results-driven leader in behavioral health quality and population health analytics who has worked extensively to advance … Read more
Lauren Niles

Lauren Niles

Principal

Lauren Niles, DrPH, MPH is an experienced and passionate healthcare quality subject matter expert and researcher. She has experience with … Read more
Serene Olin

Serene Olin

Principal

Su-chin Serene Olin, PhD, is a child clinical psychologist with over 20 years of translational research and leadership experience integrating … Read more
Debbi Witham

Debbi Witham

Principal

Debbi Witham is a seasoned executive with experience delivering high quality, mission driven healthcare. During her career, she has focused … Read more

Empowering clients to advance policies and system redesign for youth and families

The current youth behavioral health system is under-resourced, underfunded and often not well coordinated. Historic approaches that minimally adapt adult models to children and youth have led to insufficient child and youth specific strategic design of effective systems. Recent investments and policies offer a tremendous opportunity to redesign strategies, payment, and the delivery system to enhance access and achieve better outcomes, equity, and satisfaction of children and families. Health Management Associates (HMA) understand the levers and impacts across the system from state and local policy makers to payers, providers, schools, and communities. Our multidisciplinary teams will partner with you to identify challenges and solutions to advance and sustain the system of care.

What Makes HMA Unique?

HMA’s cross sectoral, multidisciplinary team is comprised of more than 20 dedicated children and youth behavioral health experts with rich backgrounds in government, community-based providers and payers. Our approach includes a deep understanding of policy, clinical, operations and fiscal systems, providing our clients with fundamental tools to design and implement sustainable solutions.

Our expertise spans multiple specialty areas impacted by children’s behavioral health:

Juvenile justice and justice-involved

Child welfare and foster care

Children’s behavioral health – primary care and social services, children with serious behavioral health issues (SMI, including co-occurring issues)

Youth crisis and mobile services, crisis stabilization unit design (CSU) services

School-based wellness centers, community schools

Certified community behavioral health clinics (CCBHCs)

Suicide prevention

State policy and system redesign, evidence-based practices and strategic planning including the intersection of Medicaid and child welfare

Telehealth for children and adolescents

Tech-enabled care

Mental health first aid

Our team is advancing the design, integration, and quality of children’s behavioral health across states and the continuum of care.

Examples of our work include:

Policy and system design for behavioral health services, foster care, and the intersection of Medicaid and child welfare

Maternal and child health programing and 2Gen approaches

Managed Care Organizations (MCO) reviews, strategy ad program design

Health system emergency department boarding and health system and community intervention design

Mobile Crisis Response (MCR) design and implementation

Implementation of school-based wellness centers and building connections to the health system

Services across the healthcare spectrum.

With a deep understanding of current and emerging shifts in care and policy, our behavioral health consultants are well equipped to provide specialized services for a range of clients.

Our Clients

Insights

Bolstering the youth behavioral health system: innovative state policies to address access & parity

This week, our In Focus section highlights an HMA Issue Brief, Bolstering the Youth Behavioral Health System: Innovative State Policies to …

Innovative state policy solutions to enhance the youth behavioral health system

With suicide now the second leading cause of death among children, adolescents, and young adults (aged 15-24 years old) in …

Meet some of our behavioral health experts:

Uma Ahluwalia

Uma Ahluwalia

Managing Principal

Uma S. Ahluwalia is a respected healthcare and human services professional with extensive experience leading key growth initiatives in demanding … Read more
Heidi Arthur

Heidi Arthur

Principal

Heidi Arthur has over 20 years of experience in delivery system redesign to promote community-based access to health and human … Read more
Michael Butler

Michael Butler

Associate Principal

During his career, Michael Butler has directed hundreds of program evaluation, organizational development, and technical assistance projects in a wide … Read more
Gina Lasky

Gina Lasky

Managing Director, Behavioral Health

Gina Lasky is a licensed psychologist with expertise in public sector behavioral health system design and programming including integration of … Read more

Behavioral health workforce: an ongoing crisis 

Mental health and substance use treatment organizations struggle to meet the increase in demand for services, due in large part to a national workforce shortage. This challenge has been exacerbated due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Demand for behavioral health organizations’ services has continued to increase. At the same time, organizations are having trouble recruiting and retaining employees, and patient waitlists continue to grow. Competition for behavioral health workforce has only grown with new opportunities in telehealth and the entrance of private equity into the behavioral health market. The safety net providers are the most impacted and often have the least flexibility to address underlying factors leading to the shortages in large part due to regulation and administrative burden and underfunded payment models.   

HMA, in partnership with the National Council for Mental Wellbeing (NatCon), developed a series of issue briefs outlining state policy and provider steps that can help to address the critical shortage.

HMA is also working with NatCon and the College for Behavioral Health Leadership (CBHL) to engage national partners using a collective impact framework to provide backbone support for organizations to work together in a more structured and action-oriented approach and to leverage various implementers (policy, regulatory, payers, providers, educators, etc.) to move recommendations to action.   

Behavioral Health Workforce is a National Crisis: Immediate Policy Actions for States 

View Issue Brief

Actions to Address the National Workforce Shortage and Improve Care

View Issue Brief

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: Emerging Opportunities for the Behavioral Health Workforce 

View Issue Brief

HMA can help state policy makers and provider organizations with workforce support and problem solving, workforce assessment, strategy and policy design.

Our team of experts includes clinicians with on-the-ground experience as well as previous policy makers. We’ve worked within the certified community behavioral health clinic (CCBHC) model and provide technical assistance to organizations planning for its adoption. We have experience in extending it beyond the demonstration utilizing Medicaid state plan amendments (SPA) or 1115 waivers to enhance the workforce.

HMA capabilities

Identifying effective workforce strategies including training and maximizing of multi-disciplinary teams (e.g., peers, behavioral health providers, nurses, licensed health care providers). 

Policy and system design for behavioral health services and workforce expansion 

Managed Care Organizations (MCO) strategy and program design as well as strategies to enhance the provider network 

Conducting certified community behavioral health clinic (CCBHC) readiness and implementation support. 

Maximizing virtual and technology interventions. 

Convening stakeholders and building partnerships across sectors. 

HMA is positioned to support

State Medicaid agencies 

State and local departments of health, public health, behavioral health, and child welfare 

Health plans & Managed Care Organizations  

Hospitals & health systems  

Provider organizations 

Community-based organizations  

Foundations & advocacy organizations

Certified community behavioral health clinics 

School-based behavioral health

Correctional health & juvenile justice systems 

Contact our experts:

Paul Fleissner

Paul Fleissner

Managing Principal

Working to integrate services across systems and communities, Paul Fleissner is a seasoned executive who has developed programs and policies … Read more
Allie Franklin

Allie Franklin

Principal

Allie Franklin is a licensed clinical social worker with decades of experience in public, private, and non-profit behavioral health, healthcare, … Read more
Gina Lasky

Gina Lasky

Managing Director, Behavioral Health

Gina Lasky is a licensed psychologist with expertise in public sector behavioral health system design and programming including integration of … Read more