Regional mental-health service Western Highlands Network is $3 million in the hole

“Western Highlands Network, which covers eight counties including Buncombe and Rutherford,” The Raleigh News&Observer reports, “has gotten off to a bad start with the first local mental health office to become a managed-care agency falling into a $3 million financial hole in its first six months of operation.”

The agency “is working with the state Department of Health and Human Services on a plan to correct the money problems that started the first day it became a managed-care agency in January.

The changes may involve reducing some mental health treatments the office believes are excessive, telling service providers to return money for services that were not approved, and enforcing rules for providers filing payment claims.

The experiences in the west are significant because, under a new state law, all government-paid mental health services in the state will be handled the way they are in Western Highlands. Advocates for people with disabilities are skeptical that the new system will work, and they worry consumers will be the losers….”

Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/2012/07/18/2206751/money-woes-snag-mental-health.html#storylink=cpy


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