Advocate Fact Sheet: Evaluating Mental Health Plans’ Provision of Medi-Cal Specialty Mental Health Services

Executive Summary

Medi-Cal beneficiaries in California receive mental health services through two separate managed care systems. Medi-Cal Managed Care Plans (MCPs) are responsible for providing non-specialty mental health services and County Mental Health Plans (MHPs) are responsible for providing specialty mental health services (SMHS). This bifurcated system often serves as a barrier for beneficiaries seeking to access mental health services, because it leads to enrollee confusion and its success depends on effective coordination between the plans, which is oftentimes non-existent. This fact sheet focuses on the provision and delivery of SMHS and provides an analysis of the tools and processes that are available to hold MHPs accountable to serve Medi-Cal beneficiaries.

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