Family Counseling Services gets grant funding for 'Healthcare Collaborative'

Editor's Note: The following is a press release from Family Counseling Services.

Cortland, N.Y. – Today, Governor Cuomo announced that Family Counseling Services and its subsidiary Family & Children’s Society, and their collaborative partners have been awarded $1.64 million to establish the South Central Behavioral Health Care Collaborative (SCBHCC). Family Counseling Services and Family & Children’s Society will serve as lead agency.

The award will help the partners of the SCBHCC transition to Value-Based Payments (VBP) and create a network of local providers that can truly have an impact on local populations. The SCBHCC was one of 19 networks of behavioral healthcare providers that received funding.

The SCBHCC consists of 33 behavioral health providers, primary care providers, community-based organizations as well as the support services community throughout an eight-county region. The partners will be working together to transform behavioral health care services and other supports into an integrated, comprehensive system of care that results in healthier people, better care, and lower costs. The SCBHCC represents a full spectrum of regionally available behavioral health services and will work to address identified gaps in services by seeking additional partners who offer those services and working with current partners to expand available services.

The South Central Behavioral Health Care Collaborative intends to develop sustainable, data-informed collaborations among the partners. These collaborations will enable the group to develop a comprehensive system of care that supports improved health and functioning for individuals served in our communities while preparing the partner organizations to participate in VBP arrangements.

The SCBHCC’s Vision is that people living in South Central New York are healthy by design and everyone is connected to quality, affordable healthcare provided by valued community partners that work together to deliver cost-effective care.

“The South Central BHCC will build on existing partner relationships and referral arrangements to develop a strategic plan and infrastructure that strengthens integrative care, improves service and care outcomes, and drives efficiency and cost effectiveness. Our goal is to deliver quality care that is based on the consistent application of evidence-based guidelines and models that will build a high-value network,” said Lisa Hoeschele, CEO of Family Counseling Services and the Family & Children’s Society.

The SCBHCC will work to improve the data infrastructure so that all partners can collaborate for care coordination and quality improvement. The SCBHCC expects to make substantial investments in the development and deployment of infrastructure—such as a dedicated data sharing platform—that will support the Collaborative’s ability to collect, analyze, distribute, and respond to data, including quality measures and cost effectiveness.

Family Counseling Services and the Family & Children’s Society are in the final stages of a formal merger of the two agencies. The merger provides an opportunity to expand services to meet the needs within the communities served throughout Central New York and the Southern Tier. Combined, the merged agency will employ more than 200 staff and serve more than 10,000 people in 22 school and community based locations throughout the region. The agency offers a range of services including mental health, chemical dependency, home care, sexual abuse treatment, elder counseling, school-based counseling, vocational supports, as well as prevention services through its prevention division, Cortland Prevention Resources. The Cortland LGBTQ Resource Center is a division of the agency and provides services and resources to members of the LGBTQ+ community and their allies.