We know the stress, uncertainty and isolation that come with the “new normal” created by COVID-19 can lead people to experience new behavioral health issues and can compound existing ones. Working alongside NC DHHS and our strong and committed provider network with the guidance and flexibility our state partners have provided, Alliance has stepped up with over $10 million in additional support to help our members and our communities weather this storm.
The providers that make up our network are the front line healthcare professionals that ensure our members receive critical treatment and support, and their financial viability is of utmost concern. Through our Financial Sustainability Program, we have pumped over $7.2 million to about 100 of our larger outpatient providers and providers of community-based care, giving them the resources to quickly jump-start telehealth services so they can serve consumers virtually.
We’ve also implemented 15% rate increases for operators of intermediate care facilities (ICFs) for people with intellectual/developmental disabilities, and hikes ranging from 15-30% for all child residential providers during the COVID-19 emergency. And we’ve committed $300,000 in financial support to providers who offer solely research-based behavioral health treatment, as well as reimbursements for Assertive Community Treatment Team (ACTT) providers who purchase mobile phones to work with our members remotely. ACTT is a comprehensive treatment for adults with serious and persistent mental illness that includes a team of professionals working together to provide treatment and assistance to individuals in their homes or other community settings.
In response to the need for increased behavioral health capacity during this time, Alliance has invested $1.1 million to expand access to inpatient and residential treatment beds. We’ve also increased access to transitional residential treatment beds for individuals dealing with substance use disorders, and funded a 24-hour residential facility to provide social support and other non-medical services to people experiencing physical withdrawal from alcohol and other drugs.
Alliance has worked closely with our partners in county government to ensure shelter for people who need it desperately at this time. We’re funding hotel accommodations and critical wrap-around supports for a number of very high-risk members and established telehealth support for 225 members sheltering at a Durham County hotel. We’ve dedicated a team of peers, supported by a psychiatrist, to provide on-demand virtual peer support and daily peer support check-in to all individuals in a Wake County isolation shelter for members presumed to be COVID positive, and deployed two telehealth clinics at another Wake County shelter to provide onsite assessment, treatment and support. These efforts are critical to avoiding crisis escalation and the need to transport individuals to an ED or crisis facility.
As we’ve been there during floods in Cumberland County, a gas explosion and recent public housing crisis in Durham County, and other difficult times across our region, Alliance is committed to supporting our communities and the health and well-being of our members as long as it takes to overcome this COVID-19 emergency.