The term "health home" does not refer to a place or location. A health home is a group of health care providers that join together to serve those receiving mental health services through Medicaid as a team. The new behavioral health home teams will be made up of agencies that already serve our community, and they will all remain at their current locations.

Each health home will include medical doctors, hospitals, clinics, and inpatient and outpatient mental health services.  Some health homes will also include housing agencies, peer services agencies, home health services, employment services providers, and others who provide community-based services to people with psychiatric disabilities.

Who will get services from health homes? When will these services start?
Later this year, health homes will begin enrolling Medicaid recipients who:

  • Have a mental illness or a substance-abuse disorder
  • Have one or more other serious chronic medical conditions

A selected group of individuals will be enrolled in 2012. Enrollment in health homes will gradually expand over the next couple of years, and by 2014 all Medicaid recipients who meet the above criteria will be served by behavioral health homes.

How will I know if I’m assigned to a health home? What choices do I have?
If you are assigned to a behavioral health home, you will be notified by a letter from that organization. If you receive such a letter and do not do anything, then you will remain with the assigned health home.

However, you have the right to decline to join a health home or switch to another health home. To exercise either option, you should speak with a care manager from the health home at least once and fill out the “Health Home Opt-out Form” and any other required forms. This will ensure that you continue to receive the Medicaid health care services you are entitled to.

Why are health homes being established now?
Health homes are intended to reduce New York State’s Medicaid costs and to improve the health and well-being of people living with psychiatric illnesses. These two goals are directly related. When people obtain support that helps them to live healthier, more satisfying lives in the community, it decreases their reliance on emergency rooms and hospitals or need for long-term care.

Which health homes will be serving Westchester County? Which service providers will be included?
Two behavioral health homes have been designated to serve Westchester County.  They are:   Hudson River Healthcare, Inc. and Open Door Family Medical Center Inc./Hudson Valley Care Coalition.  Behavioral health homes are identified by the name of their lead agency, which is the administrative coordinator of each health home..  For a full roster of providers that are partnering in each home please visit the New York State Department of Health website as indicated below.   
Where can I get more information?
The Westchester County Department of Community Mental Health’s Web site will continue to provide basic information about the Health Homes program. However, many details of program implementation are still subject to change. In order to ensure that you have up-to-date information, it is recommended that you access information directly from the New York State Department of Health (DOH), which oversees the Health Homes program throughout New York State.   

Is there anyone I can speak to directly to learn more about the Health Homes program in Westchester County?
If you have any further questions or concerns about the Health Homes program please contact:

Brian Hollander
Mental Health Public Policy Coordinator
Westchester Independent Living Center
Tel: (914) 682-3926