The Milieu Therapeutic Services begins its expansion into non-traditional markets by submitting three proposals for a partnership with Virginia's Community Services Boards and the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services under the Marcus-David Peters Act of 2021. In doing so TMTS, PC is continuing its imperative to reach those that do not have access to quality and compassionate mental healthcare, and providing better options for citizens in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
For nearly 60 years, Community Service Boards held a monopoly on the stabilization and intervention services of their area. While they did an incredible job in this arena, over time a number of factors led it to become inefficient and resistant to innovation or change. While CSBs have done well for decades in the crisis intervention and stabilization field, recent policy changes by the Department of Medical Assistance Services combined with an overall workforce shortage has put the sustainability of this model in jeopardy. While CSBs have had the ability to subcontract any of the services they offer to other providers, many agencies have chosen not to do this in an effort to remain the only ones at the table. The Marcus-David Peters act changes this by encouraging partnerships between the CSBs and private providers.
The first plan seeks to supplement current mobile crisis teams by working with the local hub to provide assessment and treatment planning to individuals considered to be in a mental health crisis. Where we differ is that each clinician on the streets physically responding to requests for help will have another doing the same via Telehealth, thus improving the efficiency of call response. The second part of this plan also creates a community crisis stabilization model as an alternative to hospitalization; such alternatives being lacking for many years. This service could also be used for short term care after being discharged from a psychiatric facility and mandatory outpatient treatment.
Over the past one to two years, state hospitalization utilization as a facility of last resort has increased by as much as 400% and clients are being boarded in hospital ERs for an extended period of time. Yet over the past ten years the capacity of private hospitals has remained mostly unchanged. Our second plan seeks to change this imbalance by being the sole source of referrals to all hospitals. We also plan to collect multiple data points along the way to continually improve the efficiency of the bed search process and accurately report the utilization of community hospitals.
Thirdly we seek to create oversight of the independent evaluators working throughout the state and provide them with training as well as a more equitable and balanced approach to how the job is done.
In conclusion, telehealth services have the potential to improve crisis intervention for people with mental health issues in Virginia. By submitting plans for changes in how the state mental health system is run within crisis intervention, we can ensure that those who need help will have access to the resources they need.