ASHEVILLE, N.C. (WLOS) — A $2.3 million grant from the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services to Vaya Health will help ensure people with mental health or addiction disorders receive proper outpatient care and avoid repeated trips to the hospital.
DHHS awarded grant funds to Vaya Health, a managed healthcare organization serving Western North Carolina, to fund the pilot program in conjunction with Mission Health and RHA Health Services. The initiative will provide comprehensive case management for people utilizing Mission’s emergency department for behavioral health needs, as well as women who are pregnant and using drugs or alcohol, and link them to community services and supports.
“Too often, people don’t connect with routine outpatient care that can prevent a behavioral health issue from becoming a crisis,” said RHA CEO Gordon J. Simmons. “In addition to RHA programs in neighboring counties, C3356 offers 24-hour behavioral health urgent care, counseling, medication management, substance use treatment and peer support services. These programs promote personal recovery and help prevent future crises.”
Nearly 600 people seek care for behavioral health needs at Mission’s ED every month. Some individuals needing psychiatric inpatient treatment wait at the ED for more than three days before a bed becomes available. Repeated visits are also becoming more problematic, with 230 individuals making a total of 770 visits during six months in 2016.
“We hope that over time we’ll reduce the use of the emergency department for those visits that are not necessary that can be addressed at a different level of care,” Vaya Health CEO Brian Ingraham said.
The program is expected to begin in July.
Vaya Health original News release_WNC initiative to promote mental health, reduce ED use