We all need to take care of both our physical and behavioral health needs in order to be healthy. The mind and body aren’t separated- and neither should the health-care delivery system- especially for folks with a serious mental illness. Folks with a serious mental illness die more than 25 years earlier than the general population… an unacceptable health disparity in anybody’s book. The increased mortality is largely from treatable medical conditions caused by modifiable risk factors like smoking, obesity, substance abuse, and not accessing primary and acute medical care. Population health issues. 

We recognized the need to address this unacceptable health disparity when we put together our Strategic Map and Plan that includes integrating behavioral and acute healthcare. It’s been a long haul and a lot of work- and we passed a major milestone today when folks submitted their bids on our Request For Proposal (otherwise known as RFP) for the delivery of behavioral health services in Maricopa County.  We received bids from: 1) Magellan Complete Care of Arizona, Inc.; 2) Cenpatico of Arizona LLC; 3) Arizona Physicians IPA, Inc. (APIPA), d/b/a UnitedHealthcare Community Plan, operating as UnitedHealthcare Whole Health; 4) Mercy Maricopa Integrated Care; and 5) Partners in Integrated Health, LLC. 

Our evaluation team will begin their analysis shortly…  and we expect the evaluation process to take 8 weeks or so.  The entity that ends up getting the contract will be responsible for delivering both preventative, acute and primary care along with Recovery-based behavioral health services for folks in the public behavioral health system in Maricopa County beginning on 10/1/13.  

It’s difficult to put into words how much work has gone into this solicitation. I know that many of you put this work on top of all your normal work, had put off other projects, and sacrificed some of your home-life for this product- and I just really want you to know that I appreciate it. It’s going to save lives. Stay tuned.