On June 20th, leaders from AHCCCS, the Arizona Department of Housing, Mercy Maricopa Integrated Care and many community stakeholders came together at the Valley of the Sun United Way to discuss the intersection of housing and behavioral healthcare.
City leadership, healthcare executives and housing and service providers came together to discuss how chronically homeless Arizonans with behavioral health concerns can be housed. All agreed housing is healthcare; to live without stable housing makes all other health outcomes less successful. The conversation included discussion related to the 2015 closing of the men’s overflow shelter – an ancillary building that helped house homeless individuals at Central Arizona Shelter Service’s campus. The building was closed by Maricopa County officials in 2015 due to safety concerns. Some 300 individuals used the shelter daily.
It is estimated there are more than 2000 adult individuals who are homeless in Maricopa County. The wait list for housing at the Human Service Campus is more than 6,000 people who have accessed some homeless service in the last 90 days.
The leaders in the room discussed new strategies for sharing data, collaboration of services and partnership in housing chronically homeless individuals with behavioral health concerns. AHCCCS is committed as a partner in this process, spending more than $25 million annually on housing for Arizona’s vulnerable.
May 7th officially marked the end to the State’s legislative session. Although AHCCCS did not propose or advocate on behalf of any legislation, there were 1,247 bills introduced, 374 of which were signed into law. In terms of the state budget, the Legislature was able to come to an agreement on a $9.6 billion budget. Through this budget, AHCCCS was granted $11.4 billion in total appropriation and expenditure authority. Below are key highlights from this year’s legislative session:
- The list of covered services is expanded to include ALTCS dental services (DD/EPD)up to an annual amount of $1,000 per member, as well as podiatry services performed by a Podiatrist and ordered by a primary care physician or primary care practitioner;
- The KidsCare enrollment cap was removed pending CMS approval;
- 340B drug pricing requirements are effectuated beginning 1/1/17, or on approval by CMS. However, licensed hospitals and outpatient facilities that are owned or operated by a licensed hospital are exempt from the 340B provisions until the technological feasibility and costs of applying these provisions can be determined through an official report, due on or before 11/1/16;
- The Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment (DSRIP) fund was established;
- Laws 2015, Chapter 14, Section 26, has been repealed, in effect allowing capitation rate growth to exceed 1.5%; and
- An AHCCCS designee was assigned to the study committee regarding incompetent, nonrestorable and dangerous defendants.
A full and detailed Legislative Summary Report is available at https://www.azahcccs.gov/Resources/Downloads/Legislation/sessions/2016LegislativeSummary.pdf.
Finding and keeping affordable housing in America is a challenge for many families. Research shows supportive services can help individuals maintain housing—thereby preventing homelessness.
AHCCCS covers many supportive services that may help those in need, such as: self-care, household management, budgeting, help finding employment and use of community resources. These services are available for all AHCCCS enrolled members. AHCCCS supportive services do not cover rent or mortgage payments. (Need to enroll? Get covered here.)
Are you an individual covered by AHCCCS who needs services to keep your housing? Do you need help contacting your health plan? (Contact your health plan and ask for help.)
Are you a housing provider who needs information on how to work with an AHCCCS client? Check our covered services guide to see if the community supports you are providing are eligible for AHCCCS members. If so, consider becoming an AHCCCS provider.
AHCCCS is committed to the health and wellbeing of Arizonans, by covering supportive housing services, and working alongside other housing partners