First Regular Session - 52nd Legislature

Governor Ducey's Administrative Simplification

The Division of Behavioral Health Services (DBHS) and AHCCCS have been partners in an effort to improve care for Arizonans receiving behavioral health services. Governor Ducey recommended formalizing the partnership by bringing DBHS and AHCCCS together. This administrative simplification does not change services members can receive, nor does it change how members receive services. It also will not disrupt the important services DBHS provides to members, including employment and housing supports or the Office of Individual and Family Affairs, which will all transition to AHCCCS. The merger will become effective July 1, 2016.

For more information, please see the presentation below regarding Governor Ducey’s administrative simplification initiative as presented in the Joint Health and Human Services Committee:

Administrative Simplification Presentation 3/26/15

OIFA Letter to Members 4/21/15

Planning Phase

DBHS and AHCCCS identified executive project managers to lead the integration efforts: Kari Price, Executive Project Manager (the former Assistant Director for AHCCCS’ DCHM); Paul Galdys, Assistant Director for Operations at DBHS; and Margery Ault, DBHS Interim Deputy Director. The DBHS/AHCCCS Leadership team has completed the work to determine the structure of the new combined organization, including the staff that will be moved over to AHCCCS. Approximately 112 staff from DBHS and ADHS/IT will be transitioning to AHCCCS either into an open AHCCCS position or in their DBHS position. Other DBHS staff may be added in AHCCCS positions as AHCCCS position vacancies are recruited and filled.

Over the next year, DBHS staff will be integrated into seven existing divisions at AHCCCS (Updated Organizational Chart):

  • Division of Health Care Management (DHCM)
  • Division of Fee For Service Management (DFSM)
  • Information Services Division (ISD)
  • Office of Administrative and Legal Services (OALS)
  • Office of the Director (OOD)
  • Division of Business and Finance (DBF)
  • Office of the Inspector General (OIG)

The structure of the Division of Health Care Management (DHCM), the unit at AHCCCS that oversees the managed care contracts, will be restructured. This division currently has two Assistant Directors. It has been determined that there will be a need for three Assistant Directors under the new combined organization overseeing the managed care functions. These three areas are: 1) Finance/Reimbursement/Data; 2) Clinical/Quality; and 3) Operational activities. Shelli Silver is the current Assistant Director over the Finance/Reimbursement/Data areas. The two Assistant Director positions for the Clinical and Operational areas have been posted for recruitment.

In addition, a new division is being developed to be named the Division of Health Care Advocacy and Advancement (DHCAA). The name was developed jointly by representatives from DBHS’ leadership, Office of Individual and Family Affairs (OIFA), the Office of Human Rights, and AHCCCS. This division will house all of the functions that currently interface with our members, peers, family members and other stakeholders in our program (except eligibility and enrollment, which will remain with the Division of Member Services). Some areas that will be included in this division are the Office of Individual and Family Affairs, the Office of Human Rights, coordination with the Human Rights Committees, work with the ALTCS Advisory Committee, the State Medicaid Advisory Committee, and the Behavioral Health Planning Council. This is a very important area to ensure that the voice of the community is heard. The new division will require a dedicated Assistant Director and team that will report to the Director. The Assistant Director position is also currently posted for recruitment.

Many work groups with staff from both DBHS and AHCCCS have been formed to work through the detailed process of ensuring that all DBHS responsibilities are successfully transitioned. We may be reaching out to your staff for assistance. At this time, we are considering ourselves one organization, so don’t be surprised if you start to see more AHCCCS staff in T/RBHA or contractor meetings (as DBHS staff are also attending health plan meetings).

Implementation Phase

A phased implementation involving the transition of functional areas of DBHS operations to AHCCCS is underway. In July of 2015, the first of those phased physical moves took place. DBHS staff from Medical Management, Quality Management, Corporate Compliance, and Finance relocated to AHCCCS. Over the next several months, other functional areas and positions will be physically relocating. Most DBHS staff who are relocating to AHCCCS, will remain in their DBHS position, retain their DBHS responsibilities and it will be treated as a job assignment relocation until 7/1/2016. A few DBHS staff will be filling AHCCCS established positions and will be doing the functions affiliated with that position.

We anticipate that 90% of DBHS functional areas will be physically transitioned by the end of November. However, this will be a dynamic process, and the timing of the moves will hinge on necessity of circumstance, readiness and managing risk associated with a move.

At this time, DBHS staff will retain their phone numbers in an effort to not disrupt work and to keep as much consistency and allow a smoother transition over time. DBHS staff will also be able to access the same applications and system they utilize at DBHS.

We are very excited about this next chapter and the opportunities to partner with our stakeholders to better serve our members.

Organizational Chart Administrative Simplification 3/9/16

Results of AHCCCS Provider Rate Analysis

June 5, 2015
The Legislature enacted Laws 2015, Chapter 14 (SB 1475) on March 12, 2015, which authorized AHCCCS to reduce rates for providers up to 5% in aggregate for dates of service October 1, 2015 through September 30, 2016. In this process, the Legislature also authorized the agency to account for changes in utilization that were less than the amounts appropriated, as long as the fiscal impact of final decisions on provider rates did not exceed the amount appropriated for capitation rates for fiscal year 2015-2016.

On April 1, the agency opened up a public comment period seeking feedback on the impact a potential 5% rate reduction could have on providers. The agency reviewed comments submitted from 145 different providers and associations representing thousands of providers statewide. Based on the data and information provided through these public comments, along with lower than forecasted utilization and other available funding, AHCCCS has, working with the Governor's Office, determined that no provider rate reductions are required at this time. The agency will continue to monitor access to care, as well as state budgetary issues and utilization trends. The agency appreciates the time and effort taken by the many providers and organizations that submitted comments. These comments were critical to informing the agency’s final decision.

April 6, 2015
In an effort to address Arizona’s significant funding shortfall, the Legislature enacted Laws 2015, Chapter 14 (SB 1475) on March 12, 2015, which authorizes AHCCCS to reduce rates for providers up to 5% in aggregate for dates of service October 1, 2015 through September 30, 2016. More information, including information about the public comment process, is available on the AHCCCS Document Archive.