Use of Voluntary Placement Agreements Declining

Last month, the Children’s Behavioral Health Coalition (the MPS is a member organization) voiced its concern about the increasing denials of Voluntary Placement Agreements (VPAs) in a letter to the Governor’s Office and administration officials.  While not ideal, VPAs are a necessary option, so this trend is concerning.  Please click here for a copy of the letter.

The Maryland Department of Human Services (DHS) and the Maryland Department of Health (MDH) reported to the Joint Chairmen of the Senate Budget and Taxation and the House Appropriations Committees on the Use of VPAs .  The report gives data on the number of VPAs requested, approved and denied from FY2016 to FY2018.  While the number of VPAs requested rose from 152 to 167 over the period, the number approved fell from 85 to 64 and the number denied went from 67 to 103.  The most frequent reasons for denial were “Parents withdrew/Did not follow through” and “Need to exhaust community resources/Referred to community resources.”  Denials due to lack of adequate documentation by a psychologist, psychiatrist or physician doubled over the period.  Please click here for a copy of the report.  For more information please contact the Office of Government Affairs at 410-767-8966.