In a remote corner of the MaineHealth ACO office is a glass partition with a door marked “Confidential Area - Please Do Not Enter.” On the other side is a small office occupied by a handful of colleagues, most of them on the phone. This is the home of the Behavioral HealthCare Program (BHCP), a little-known component of the MaineHealth ACO that each year connects thousands of individuals from five northeastern states with behavioral health care providers. In 2019,
the BHCP team received an average of 60 calls each day from beneficiaries and providers.BHCP started small in 2000 with 3,000 beneficiaries. In 2019, it served over 165,000 beneficiaries with a network of 2,400 providers and 175 behavioral health facilities.
In 2019, the BHCP team received an average of 60 calls each day from beneficiaries and providers. The team managed referrals and authorizations while providing a sympathetic ear to people and families who may be in crisis. Team members helped with straightforward patient-to-provider connections and also facilitated the more complex process of accessing higher-level inpatient care or day programs.
2019 also saw the launch of BHCP’s new state-of-the-art network management system, helping the team respond more quickly and thoroughly to beneficiary needs. Increasingly, ready access to behavioral health care is a key component of a patient-centered and well-coordinated system of care. In 2019, the BHCP’s team of dedicated and skilled professionals helped build that ideal system, serving a fragile population with compassion and integrity.