CarePlus NJ establishes first state-certified behavior health home agency

CarePlus NJ in Paramus announced Wednesday that it is the first state-certified agency in Bergen County to establish a “behavioral health home, a new model of integrated primary care for individuals with severe mental illnesses.”

CarePlus Chief Executive Joe Masciandaro said the CarePlus behavioral health home model will be more affordable and will enable individuals with severe mental illnesses to access primary health care services more easily.

New Jersey recently authorized behavioral health home services under a provision of the Affordable Care Act to help fund this new care model. CarePlus said the ACA will benefit certified behavioral health agencies and the individuals who might not otherwise be able to afford primary care, and will also benefit the state and federal governments by decreasing the frequency and cost of inpatient hospitalizations.

CarePlus has been developing an integrated mind and body approach to wellness since 2010 when it received a grant from the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. With that funding, CarePlus was able to develop integrated treatment care regimens with such outcomes as  normal blood pressure, reduction of emergency room visits, participation in wellness programs and a positive perception of care. CarePlus was also selected for a new grant to encourage patient engagement through the use of mobile technology.

Masciandaro said moving forward, CarePlus is working to provide comprehensive physical and behavioral care management and transitional care following any inpatient hospitalization. These care coordination services include a professional team of medical and behavioral health experts

CarePlus NJ is a northern New Jersey provider of recovery-focused mental health, primary care, substance abuse, and family services. It operates out of 23 sites, including outpatient centers, residential facilities and community offices.

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