The 2008 Florida Legislature passed House Bill 1429, amending s.394.9082. F.S., authorizing the Department of Children and Families to implement Behavioral Health Managing Entities. The entities are defined as Florida corporations exempt from taxation under s.501(c) (3) that contract with the Department to manage the daily delivery of behavioral health services (i.e. substance abuse prevention and treatment, and mental health services) through the establishment of local networks.
The goal of Behavioral Health Managing Entities is to promote improved access to care and service continuity by creating a more efficient and effective management system of substance abuse and mental health services. This structure places the responsibility for management services within a single nonprofit entity at the local level.
The essential elements for managing entities include the following:
- Management information systems
- Planning and budgeting
- Information access
A well managed service delivery system using managing entities should:
- Increase access for those in need of care.
- Improve the coordination and continuity of care for vulnerable and high risk populations.
- Redirect service dollars from restrictive settings to community-based recovery services.
Further, managing entities can enhance the ability of the Department and its regional and circuit offices to focus on broad systematic substance abuse and mental health system development rather than the current daily operational requirements.