“Hudson Health Plan has always viewed mental health as an integral part of physical wellbeing, and we have seen how well people can recover when we coordinate and integrate care to address the whole person,” explains Ms. Chapin. “Care management should bend to the needs and goals of each individual; the individual should not be forced to bend to a static model of care management.”
Dr. Amy Kohn, Chief Executive Officer of MHA, notes, “In Georganne, Hudson Health Plan has a leader who understands behavioral health from a grassroots level and who believes that recovery is possible, if patients are given the right support.”
Mental illness in vulnerable populations
It is a disturbing fact that people living in the lowest socioeconomic stratum of society are two to three times more likely to suffer from mental illness than people living in the highest socioeconomic stratum, according to a Surgeon General report. Although their need for help is great, so are the obstacles that vulnerable populations face in accessing appropriate mental health services. For more than 25 years, Hudson has sought to remove barriers to their care.
“Although many cases of untreated mental illness are due to lack of health insurance or inadequate coverage, other factors, such as homelessness, physical illness, and cultural stigma, also interfere with people getting the help they need,” explains Ms. Chapin. “As an organization, Hudson has learned that we have to do more than just provide health insurance; we have to address social issues and focus on true access, as well.”
To that end, Hudson has developed a Medicaid “health home” model, in which all facets of a person’s needs – medical, behavioral, and social – are combined into one integrated program of care. Hudson’s signature health home project, the Westchester Cares Action Program (WCAP), has been widely praised for breaking a cycle of despair for Medicaid beneficiaries who faced these multiple challenges. This year, WCAP was awarded the Distinguished Public Health Service Award from the Westchester Board of Health, in March; the Case Management Society of America’s Research Award, in May; and the Medicaid Managed Care Congress Health Plan Innovation Award, in June.
“MHA is committed to providing quality mental health services to all who are in need, and we applaud the pioneering work that Hudson Health Plan has done to increase access to care,” states Dr. Amy Kohn. “Under Georganne, Hudson has led the way in delivering integrated, person-centered comprehensive health care coverage to those in the Hudson Valley with the most complicated needs.”
MHA’s Autumn on the Hudson benefit will take place at X2O in Yonkers on Wednesday, October 24, 2012 at 6:30 p.m. Sponsors of the event include Caspi Development Company, O’Connor Davies, LLP, and RXR Realty. Honorary Chairs are Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins, and Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano. Event Chairs are Elizabeth and Steven Caspi. To purchase tickets, visit www.mhawestchester.org, or call Constance Moustakas at 914-345-5900 ext 7511.
For more information about Hudson Health Plan, or to learn about its free and low-cost health insurance programs, the public is invited to visit www.hudsonhealthplan.org.
About Hudson Health Plan
Hudson Health Plan is a community-based not-for-profit health care organization that provides state-sponsored Medicaid Managed Care, Child Health Plus, and Family Health Plus insurance coverage to over 115,000 members in New York’s Hudson Valley. Hudson uses every government dollar it receives to fulfill its mission, which is “to promote and provide access to excellent health services for all people.” Hudson improves the health of its members and the communities in which they live through its innovations in care coordination, and by supporting over 5,000 local health providers. Hudson received the national 2012 Medicaid Health Plan Innovation Award for its Westchester Cares Action Program, an innovative integrated care management project. In both 2009 and 2010, Hudson achieved the highest quality incentive scores of any Medicaid plan in New York State, and in 2010, it received the highest overall performance rating of any Medicaid plan in the Hudson Valley. It also has earned the highest ratings in overall satisfaction among Medicaid Managed Care members in the Hudson Valley region every year since 2003.
Hudson Health Plan is based in Tarrytown, N.Y. Visit Hudson at www.hudsonhealthplan.org, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/
About the Mental Health Association of Westchester
MHA is the premier mental health agency in Westchester, serving more than 20,000 adults and children each year through advocacy, community education and direct services, with priority given to those with limited access to other resources. For more information, visit www.mhawestchester.org or access MHA at http://www.facebook.com/