Phoenix, AZ (July 14, 2020)-
Arizona will be the first state in the nation to integrate behavioral health and physical health service delivery in a dedicated health plan housed within its child welfare agency, the Department of Child Safety (DCS).
“Behavioral health services are critical to supporting children in foster care and addressing the trauma they have experienced.” said DCS Director Mike Faust. “Integration will provide for greater alignment between the physical health needs of children and the therapeutic interventions to aide in their healing.”
Currently, foster children receive their physical and dental health coverage from the Department’s health plan, the Comprehensive Medical and Dental Program and behavioral health benefits from one of three Arizona Regional Behavioral Health Authorities.
DCS is one step closer to delivering an integrated model with its recent contract award to Mercy Care, a local, not-for-profit company that has been serving AHCCCS members in Arizona since 1985. DCS, along with Mercy Care, will oversee the provision of physical and behavioral health services for foster children and provide targeted engagement to enhance service delivery and supports to children and their caregivers. Upon completion, the department’s health plan will change its name from Comprehensive Medical and Dental Plan (CMDP) to DCS Comprehensive Health Plan (DCS CHP).
“This is a significant step in fulfilling Mercy Care’s mission of helping our members live their healthiest life and achieve their fullest potential,” said Lorry Bottrill, Mercy Care President and Chief Executive Officer. “We’re grateful for the opportunity to use our experience in this area to serve these children and families, and we look forward to a successful collaboration with DCS.”
DCS’s fully integrated model will be completed in Spring 2021.