News release

For immediate release
Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Whole-person care expands to more areas of the state Jan. 1

OLYMPIA – Beginning Jan. 1, 2019, Washington Apple Health (Medicaid) clients in several more regions of the state will transition to a whole-person approach to care delivery. Services will be coordinated through a single health plan so that people receive the help they need for body and mind, including mental health and substance use treatment.

The regions moving to integrated managed care on Jan. 1 are:

  • Greater Columbia (Asotin, Benton, Columbia, Franklin, Garfield, Kittitas, Walla Walla, Whitman, and Yakima counties)
  • King (King County)
  • Pierce (Pierce County)
  • Spokane (Adams, Ferry, Lincoln, Pend Oreille, Spokane, and Stevens counties)

In 2014, state legislation directed a transition to fully integrate the purchasing of medical and behavioral health services for Apple Health clients through a managed care system no later than Jan. 1, 2020. Integrated managed care implementation began in 2016 with the Southwest Washington region (Clark and Skamania counties), and expanded in 2018 to the North Central region (Chelan, Douglas, and Grant counties). Also in January, Klickitat County will join the Southwest Washington region and Okanogan will join the North Central region.

An integrated care model helps individuals—especially those with multiple complex conditions—receive the full spectrum of care and services they need. By combining both sets of benefits under the same managed care plan, the managed care plan will be responsible and accountable for addressing both the medical and behavioral health needs of individuals, leading to more integrated care and better outcomes.

“Integrated managed care is about improving health care and outcomes for Apple Health clients,” Health Care Authority State Medicaid Director MaryAnne Lindeblad said.   “This approach creates a more holistic approach to physical, mental health, substance use disorder, and emergency care, and has a profound impact on the quality of life for people in Washington.”

The final regions of the state to move to integrated managed care are:

July 2019

  • North Sound (Whatcom, Skagit, Snohomish, Island, and San Juan counties)

January 2020

  • Great Rivers (Grays Harbor, Pacific, Wahkiakum, Cowlitz, and Lewis counties)
  • Salish (Clallam, Jefferson, and Kitsap counties)
  • Thurston-Mason (Thurston and Mason counties)

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