At Monday's meeting of the
Phillips explained Partners doesn't provide mental health services. Instead, the company manages such services, linking those in need of care with local providers as well as handling billing and compensation.
"How do we assure citizens have access to care without a brick-and-mortar structure?" Phillips asked
"When people call us, we link them to a provider right away," answered Eads.
Phillips, who sits on the Partners board of directors, said state lawmakers share his concerns about access to care, but the commissioner is also concerned about the direction in which the state may be moving in the area of mental health.
Phillips said state lawmakers have tossed around the idea of further consolidating mental health. A recent proposal was to merge Partners with
There's also a movement to privatize the manner in which mental health services are delivered to
"The first and foremost concern on my mind is always ensuring our residents have the care available to them," noted Phillips.
At Monday's meeting, Phillips said there are a number of issues at hand in people not seeking the care they need. One is the stereotype associated with receiving such care. However, a failure to publicize the availability of such services could also be a factor.
Eads, however, said utilization numbers among
According to Eads' numbers, Partners managed mental health care for 3,118
According to the figures,
Willis noted the latter group of patients is serviced through the state's
Eads told commissioners his organization has seen an uptick in patients seeking treatment for substance use. The terminology was changed from substance "abuse," as many patients battle opioid addictions as a result of being legally prescribed the medications by a physician.
"The percent of
Phillips said those in need of mental health services may call Partners at 1-800-235-4673.
Andy is a staff writer and may be reached at 415-4698.
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