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MHRSB Will Enhance Its Services by Bringing in Contractor

By Fletcher Word
Sojourner’s Truth Editor

The Mental Health and Recovery Services Board of Lucas County has undertaken a project “to improve the treatment experience for those experiencing a mental health crisis to ensure services are effective, fiscally sustainable, recovery-oriented and person-centered,” according to a report recently finalized with the assistance of a contracted group, TBD Solutions.

The result of the MHRSB and TBD Solutions report is a request for proposals (RFP) that is seeking qualified vendors to provide behavioral health services including: a crisis call center; a mobile crisis team/mobile response and stabilization services; an adult and youth crisis stabilization unit and a crisis, access, recovery and emergency (C.A.R.E.) center equipped with 23-hour observational unit and psychiatric urgent care.

The most critical aspect of the RFP is the plan to enhance the cooperation between mental health providers and law enforcement officers so that patients, who at a time of crisis and are now typically placed in city or county custody, will be turned over to mental health providers for care.

It is this aspect of the proposal that MHRSB Executive Director Scott Sylak and Board Chairman Jim Stengle emphasized in a conversation with The Truth last week.

“It will be very easy for law enforcement to drop individuals off,” said Sylak. “A smooth process for law enforcement.”  He noted that the new vendor will be providing just such a facility to accept those in crisis where they can be observed and be offered withdrawal management service.

The RFP was issued this past Monday. The RFP schedule requires vendors to submit a letter of intent to respond by December 7, submission of questions by December 14 and proposal submissions by January 14, 2021. Thereafter finalists’ interviews will be conducted from February 15 to March 15, 2021 with a final decision on March 29. The RFP anticipates that the contract will start by June 1, 2021.

“This is the largest procurement of any contract we have ever done,” said Stengle as he explained that the goal was to ensure Lucas County residents of the best mental health service possible.

Sylak and Stengle emphasized that the new services are intended to establish a health care environment that will replace the criminal justice environment currently in effect for those in crisis with psychiatric urgent care, a recovery help line and greater experience  in managing that portion of the population in need of such help while also cutting the costs across the board.

The crisis provider will also be expected to conduct health officer training, transportation for patients, probate court assessments and state hospital pre-screenings.

The conclusion by MHRSB and TBD Solutions to seek such a contractor followed weeks of focus group sessions in which participants outlined the ways in which they would know if health crisis services were working well in Lucas County. Participants said services should be “outcomes-driven, crisis care providers would embrace a ‘no wrong door’ policy for more accessible care, law enforcement would know where to drop people off and system partners would have a higher level of responsibility and accountability for its services and care coordination.”

The report proposes to do just that while also realizing savings by using “alternatives to high-cost services … and demonstra[ting] significant cost savings to the public behavioral health system.”



Copyright © 2019 by [The Sojourner's Truth]. All rights reserved.
Revised: 11/19/20 08:57:24 -0500.

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