Health Homes: What Are They?

by Stacey Larson on December 10, 2010

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) recently addressed this question in its September/October 2010 SAMHSA News Newsletter. A Health Home is another term for a provider or team of health care professionals who are selected by an eligible individual to follow that individual’s care.

Health homes are accountable for managing and coordinating services that the person receives from multiple providers, promoting good health, helping with the transition from one setting to another and providing support and referrals to both the individual and family members. The introduction of health homes may prove extremely beneficial for individuals with mental health and substance use disorders as they tend to have multifaceted and long standing needs with several providers involved in their care.

The new provisions included in the Affordable Care Act will allow Medicaid to reimburse providers for time spent on coordination of interdisciplinary care. The states may begin offering a health homes option in January of 2011. The legislation requires that those interested in a health homes option must submit a proposal to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid services (CMS) and consult with SAMHSA on the behavioral health components of their proposals. Click here for more information on healthcare reform and health homes.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Jeff Walter December 13, 2010 at 10:17 am

The Connecticut Medicaid program reimburses both BH providers and PCPs for coordination of care, through special CPT case management codes. Yet, few providers on either side are making use of these codes. We don’t yet know why. I would be interested to hear from folks from other states who may have longer (or more positive) experience w/care coordination for Medicaid clients. Also, we have Primary Care Case Management (PCCM) on a limited basis in the CT Medicaid program. Has anyone had positive experience with primary-behavioral health care coordination under this model in your state?


Darneal McAllister December 21, 2010 at 10:12 am

Are these case management codes for the state of CT or are they federal?


Stephen Langley December 20, 2010 at 8:27 am

It ‘s interesting that there are many organizations that have taken case management for primary medical of chronically mentally ill individuals and have always considered it a part of ‘wrap around services’ in keeping with the old CSP model of case management and care. That is, we have always done it, it’s not new, it’s not an innovation. Creating a group of community medical practitioners for the medical care of our people (that accept medicaid which is a big deal in IL) is old hat. Getting a nurse practitioner and getting the feds/state to finally pay for all that time and care has been a long time coming (and may still be)…….but new thinking (medical home?)…hardly


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