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Are You Eligible for a HARP? Coordinating Mental and Physical Health

Adults in New York State with significant behavioral health needs–specifically mental health and substance use issues–may benefit greatly from a Health and Recovery Plan (HARP). Qualified by the New York State Office of Mental Health, HARPs have specialized expertise and tools that are not part of most medical plans, enabling coordination of physical health, mental health, and substance use services. The wide array of treatment options can be overwhelming and difficult to navigate; a HARP’s management of these separate but related services can be a godsend to those who need them, their caregivers, and health care providers.

As May – National Mental Health Month – winds down, it’s a great time to investigate the benefits of HARPs and take advantage of eligibility.

In 2011, Governor Cuomo recognized the need for coordination of physical and behavioral health services and called for a restructuring of the state’s Medicaid behavioral health services to focus on individualized needs and outpatient services. One result was the establishment of HARPs. In October 2015, when the initiative went into effect, Amida Care began offering HARP benefits to eligible members, who can receive all the services of a HARP while remaining in Amida Care. (Approximately 29 % of Amida Care members are eligible.)

Those eligible for HARPs may also be qualified for enhanced care through Behavioral Health Home and Community Based Services (HCBS), which are designed so that people can receive services in their own homes and communities. HCBS can help with:

  • Independence, through daily living and social skills, such as budgeting and negotiating relationships.
  • Education and Employment, includingsupport to start, return to, or graduate from school to learn skills to get or keep a job.
  • Peer and Family Support, through support from people who are in recovery and family members who are given the skills to help.
  • Crises Management, to help cope with mental health and substance use crises in a safe environment.

Assessment for HCBS eligibility is completed by a Health Home Care Management Agency’s care manager.

For more information on HARPs and eligibility: https://www.omh.ny.gov/omhweb/bho/harp.html

For more information on Behavioral Health Home and Community Based Services (HCBS): https://youtu.be/t2LbdraI7tg

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