Virginia mental health provider pulls out of several school districts

Virginia Family Preservation Services will stop providing therapeutic day treatment services for students enrolled in Medicaid at multiple school districts, Virginia Mercury reported Nov. 21. 

Therapeutic day treatment is mental health or behavioral health services and evaluation that occur at a school setting. 

"For years, FPS and other providers of [therapeutic day treatment] ... have been advocating for TDT to be reviewed and updated by [the Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services] to reflect a service that is more in line with our inclusive education system of today," Andy Kitzmiller, state director for Family Preservation Services, said in an Oct. 27 letter shared with the publication. "However, these changes have not been made, nor does it appear that they will be in the near future."

Family Preservation Services spokesperson Kyle McMahon told Virginia Mercury the agency is working with schools on other ways to meet students' needs.

Mindy Carlin, executive director for the Virginia Association of Community-Based Providers, told the publication that managed care organizations, which were introduced into Virginia's Medicaid system in 2019, have become stricter about authorizing the treatment. Additionally, therapeutic day treatment is designed for groups, but Ms. Carlin said it is often delivered to individuals because of the structure of the school day, meaning reimbursement rates fall short.

State research has shown that behavioral and mental health issues among students have drastically increased since the pandemic, according to Virginia Mercury.

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