Maryland Behavioral Health Services Initiatives

Several initiatives are in full swing this summer involving Maryland’s behavioral health system, both public and private sectors, institutional and outpatient.  Although the ultimate goal is not transparent, clearly change is in the making.  State psychiatric hospitals and RICA programs have moved within the Maryland Department of Health from the Behavioral Health Administration to Operations under the leadership of Deputy Secretary Gregg Todd.  Other changes are being explored.

The MPS needs input from members to use in its advocacy efforts.  Please help guide how the organization works on your behalf.  If you’re involved directly in one of the following new groups, please let us know.  Recommendations, examples and general comments are all welcome!

Lt. Governor’s Commission to Study Mental & Behavioral Health

Advise and assist with improving access to a continuum of mental-health services across the State.  This relates to health insurance both in the public and private markets.  Four subcommittees (with brief descriptions):

  • Finance & Funding – how this affects access in the public and private sectors; developing quality outcome principles
  • Crisis Services – evaluate service capacity and licensing scheme, review strategic plan and state health plan
  • Public Safety & Judicial System – including first responders, detention and treatment of inmates
  • Youth & Families – capacity in schools, caregiver supports

MD Department of Health System of Care Workgroup

To examine and make recommendations on how the state should provide, administer, and finance behavioral health services in conjunction with the Total Cost of Care Model that increases care coordination and quality for Medicaid enrollees, is cost efficient, and promotes access to care.  Three components:

  • Quality Integrated Care Management
  • Cost Management
  • Behavioral Health Provider Management and Network Adequacy

Maryland Health Care Commission Psychiatric Services Work Group

Evaluating the need for additional acute psychiatric bed capacity and access to acute psychiatric hospital services, including the Certificate of Need (CON) process, in order to update the State Health Plan.

Please email your input and suggestions to Heidi Bunes at  Thank you!