NJ – State Seeks Input on Reorganization Plan for Mental Health, Addiction Services
September 2017 ~
New Jersey has launched a six-week outreach effort aimed at aiding staff, providers, and consumers to understand the potential benefits and timeline of the state’s Reorganization Plan 001-2017 which would transfer mental health and addiction functions from the Department of Human Services (DHS) to the Department of Health (DOH).
The outreach effort is just one aspect of a massive reorganization that will transfer the division from the DHS to the DOH. The Reorganization Plan has been designed to improve government efficiency and coordination, and enable patients to receive more complete and effective care by better integrating behavioral and physical health services.
The Reorganization Plan draws on a March 2016 report from Seton Hall Professor John Jacobi, who identified howhad made it difficult for many healthcare providers to obtain the state licensing and certification they needed to be able to address both behavioral and physical health for their patients. Experts agree that integrating mental health and addiction services with other medical care results in better outcomes, and Jacobi has been working with leaders in both departments to help smooth the path for change.
The move would involve the relocation of more than 200 state workers and some $975 million in state and federal funding for the Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS). It would also shift oversight of programs that are expected to serve nearly 100,000 NJ residents in 2018 and the responsibility for implementing dozens of laws designed to protect and treat some of its most vulnerable residents.