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Budget Update

At the August 10 budget briefing, Acting OMHSAS Deputy Secretary Sherry Snyder announced that the FY2012 allocations scheduled to be sent to county mental health offices within the next two weeks will be based on the budget adopted by the General Assembly, which does not include any reductions in funding for community mental health services. Snyder also reported that the drug and alcohol funding allocation letters from OMHSAS have already been sent to counties. Snyder also noted the Medicaid cost containment initiatives included in the Governor's original budget recommendations will be implemented. Click here for the full presentation. 

The Deputy Secretary stressed that, consistent with the policy direction provided by Secretary of Public Welfare Gary D. Alexander, OMHSAS will be looking for additional budgetary savings through streamlining and expediting the delivery of mental health services.

In response to questions at the budget briefing, the Acting Deputy Secretary cited the success of psychiatric rehabilitation services (PRS) and the continued goal of adding PRS to the Medicaid State Plan. She stressed that approval by the Governor’s Office of this change would only occur after OMHSAS is able to provide statewide data demonstrating that this change would not lead to budget increases.

The Mental Health appropriation remains the same as enacted in the budget, as indicated below.

Mental Health

Community Mental Health Services 

$392.535 million

State Mental Hospitals

$324.678 million

Total

$717.213 million

 

The Behavioral Health Services Initiative (BHSI) was cut by 10 percent in the enacted budget and this appropriation also unchanged.

Behavioral Health Services Initiative (BHSI)

Mental Health (40 percent)   

$19.163 million

Drug & Alcohol (60 percent) 

$28.744 million

Total

$47.907 million

 

The budget annualizes 30 Community/Hospital Project Programs (CHIPPs) and provides six-month funding for 90 new CHIPPs at Norristown State Hospital.

Snyder also confirmed that the Act 152 appropriation ($14.727 million) is allocated to continue providing non-hospital residential drug and alcohol addiction treatment services through each Single County Authority.

The final budget signed by Governor Corbett mandated that the Department of Public Welfare (DPW) identify $400 million dollars in savings by eliminating "waste, fraud and abuse." While no direct cuts to mental health county appropriations have been announced, cost savings measures in DPW programs can be expected in order to reach the $400 million dollar savings goal.  As DPW determines what program changes are being considered, community input is critical. 

 

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