Funding for consultation-liaison services in public sector-managed care plans. The experience of the Consultation-Liaison Association of Philadelphia.

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Recently, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania initiated plans to implement a mandated behavioral health carve-out program for Medicaid-eligible persons. The Consultation-Liaison Association of Philadelphia (CLAP) discovered that there was no provision for the coverage of psychiatric services for patients with concomitant medical illness. As a result, the authors responded by initiating a series of actions aimed at ensuring inclusion of such services as part of mental health services to be delivered. CLAP developed a brief position paper that includes a description of the need for such services, the types of services typically delivered, the impact of psychiatric input in the medical setting on costs and other outcomes, and a specific set of recommendations. These efforts have lead to the inclusion of consultation-liaison services in the new plan. A description of recent changes in Medicaid, including expansion of managed care plans, the status of mental health carve outs, and the possibility for inclusion of psychiatric consultations for the medically ill within these plans, is detailed.

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