Monday, September 14, 2009

Excerpt from the Minutes of the 09/09 BHC Consortia

TCOOMMI Rider 21; Contracts & 2010 Focus – April Zamora

April discussed TDCJ updates and recent changes in administration. She clarified that TCOOMMI is no longer a standalone division of TDCJ, but has been incorporated into another division. Dee Wilson has been promoted to Re-entry and Re-integration division. There will be “Re-entry councils” developed and information will go out as these are implemented.

April discussed TCOOMMI’s capacity as there have been some budget cuts in the past year. This resulted from trending analysis on caseloads that were not staying full, but COC services that were booming. Cuts in some areas were reinvested in other areas where the service demands were higher. TCOOMMI is moving toward a hybrid model of care focusing on high risk offenders. Multi Systemic Therapy programs at two centers were discontinued because outcomes were not any better than other programs. New contracts have come out and MH and Probation requirements are separate and care is now individualized rather than limited to 6 months.

She reported that TCOOMMI was not allocated any new funds, but were given several new mandates. TCOOMMI is now responsible for the “wrongfully imprisoned” program which covers all the needs (MH, physical health, etc) for individuals who are wrongfully imprisoned. Another unfunded mandate is 44.51 which involves release of 17-19 y/o TYC offenders who have special needs and requires TCOOMMI to serve them. In adult services TCOOMMI is piloting transitional caseloads of 50-75 to facilitate the transition into regular RDM services.

April discussed Article 16.22 and SB1557 and clarified that the current processes in place for assessment of individuals jailed who have MH needs may continue. Any assessment which is less than a year old may be used. The intent was not to require MHAs to conduct competency assessments on all MH offenders in jails. TCOOMMI will be sending a letter to Texas Council which explains the intent of the law and which can be used to educate law enforcement. April noted that the intent is only to make sure the magistrate is aware of the individual’s possible MH involvement and may include self-report by the offender, prior MHA involvement, or jail CARE cross matching. It does not require an assessment. Once the magistrate is aware of the possible MH involvement he/she may order a full assessment at the expense of the county. Joe Lovelace reported that the Texas Council will be convening a workgroup to address concerns around this issue.

April reported that there are upcoming training opportunities including the Texas Correctional Association conference. She encouraged MHAs to send people to this conference.

April discussed Rider 21 which provides new funding and requires TJPC to contract with MHAs if they want to provide MH services in order to divert kids from TYC. She explained that many areas are not applying for the funds due to fear of having to return part of the funds if outcomes are not met. She reported that so far only 4 areas have submitted applications, but she is continuing to work on encouraging TJPC programs to include MH services in their grants.

Medicaid Substance Abuse Expansion – Matt Ferrara

Matt discussed comprehensive Medicaid substance abuse services legislated by the SB796. The expansion will be studied after a period of time and must save money rather than increase Medicaid spending. Matt reported implementation timeline is targeted for June 1, 2010. Providers will probably have to have a Medicaid provider number and if in a Medicaid managed care area, must be in the network. Policies are currently being developed and must have CMS approval. Rates must also be developed by HHSC and rate hearings are anticipated sometime in October or November. Private LCDC providers will probably not be an approved provider type.

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