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Ohio Medicaid Testing Payment System For Behavioral Health Redesign

Andy Chow
Ohio Medicaid Director Barbara Sears testifies in front of the Joint Medicaid Oversight Committee.

The state is redesigning the way mental health and addiction services are covered under health care plans. Those services are critical in fighting the deadly opioid crisis. That means a lot of testing is needed before implementing the new system.

The so-called Behavioral Health Redesign intends to bring these services to national standards and expand access. But it involves compensating those services through a different coding system, which could mean delays in payment.

Ohio’s health-related departments told a panel of lawmakers that they’re in the middle of testing the program to make sure things go smoothly.

Republican Senator Dave Burke is part of that panel. He says these service providers operate on narrow margins and must be paid on time.

“If we had a disruption in the billing cycle because of a coding issue that could be three to four weeks before they find out on a claim that they didn’t get paid.”

The redesign is go into full effect next July.

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