Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics to Launch at LifeWorks NW

Learn more here, about LifeWorks NW’s selection to participate in the two-year federal demonstration project for Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics.

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CCBHC Place of Residence Policy

Purpose: In compliance with the requirements for implementation of a Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC), the policy outlines our approach to offering clients services regardless of place of residence.

Policy: It is the policy of LifeWorks NW CCBHC Beaverton, Hillsboro-Walnut, King and Gresham sites to ensure that no individual, including veterans or other military personnel, are denied behavioral health care services, including but not limited to crisis management services due to place or residence, homelessness or lack of a permanent address.

Procedure: LifeWorks NW CCBHC will provide at a minimum, crisis response, evaluation and stabilization services regardless of place of residence. No client will be refused service because of place of residence. If it is determined that a client who doesn’t live with the catchment area of LifeWorks NW CCBHC needs on-going treatment, LifeWorks NW CCBHC will work with the client to find another CCBHC or other feasible provider in their county of residence to ensure the client will have their ongoing treatment needs met.

LifeWorks NW CCBHC has staff designated to help clients access resources. Listed below are the various tools in place to ensure that clients needing ongoing treatment, but not residing in the LifeWorks NW CCBHC catchment area, will have their ongoing treatment needs met:

  1. Client Help Desk: Each LifeWorks NW CCBHC has a Help Desk located in the lobby, with information about housing, transportation, employment, Oregon Health Plan enrollment, CCBHC providers in Oregon, non-CCBHC Medicaid providers throughout the Portland metro area, crisis numbers, lists of hospitals, FQHC providers, food banks and so on.
  2. Computers are located in each CCBHC lobby for clients’ use for accessing resources. Navigators and peer support specialists are available at all LifeWorks NW CCBHC sites to assist clients as necessary.
  3. Navigators and peer support specialists are available to make phone calls, set up appointments, arrange for transportation, distribute bus passes, etc.

Treatment staff are required to have a safety plan, assessment and a basic treatment plan by the end of the first service and will come up with a plan for immediate and ongoing treatment as necessary. No client will be refused service because of place of residence.

If it is determined that the client doesn’t reside in a LifeWorks NW CCBHC catchment area, LifeWorks NW CCBHC will work with the client to refer, connect and follow-up to ensure the client receives ongoing services with another CCBH.

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CCBHC Sliding Fee Scale Policy

Effective April 1, 2017

Purpose: In compliance with the requirements for implementation of a Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic, the policy outlines our approach to offering clients fees on a sliding scale.

Policy: It is the policy of LifeWorks NW CCBHC Beaverton, Hillsboro-Walnut, King and Gresham sites to provide appropriate care to all those who need care. No individuals will be denied behavioral health care services (mental health and addiction), including but not limited to crisis management services, because of an inability to pay for such services. The staff of LifeWorks NW CCBHC will work with clients to ascertain the most fiscally viable means of supporting their care.  Fees will be determined based upon family size and number of persons in the household.

LifeWorks NW CCBHC is committed to the principle that clients should know the cost of services they are requesting and the out-of-pocket expense that will be expected of them PRIOR TO THE DELIVERY OF THOSE SERVICES. Other than in crisis situation, it is the intent of LifeWorks NW CCBHC to, as best possible, determine the per-session, out-of-pocket expense for each client.

Other than in crisis situations, all clients will be provided a financial responsibility form (FRF) prior to start of their first session. The FRF will include a rate sheet with specifics indicating the per-session cost based on the clients financial eligibility. Clients will be assisted to complete the form.

OREGON HEALTH PLAN (OHP) CLIENTS:  Clients who are eligible for OHP are fully covered at no cost to the individual unless their OHP plan requires a co-pay.

SLIDING FEE: Clients who are uninsured or underinsured have access to a sliding fee discount schedule (SFS). This schedule will also be posted in all LifeWorks NW CCBHC waiting rooms. Language regarding the sliding fee schedule shall be communicated in languages/formats appropriate for individuals seeking services who may have language barriers or disabilities. The sliding fee schedule will be based on Portland metro area prevailing rates (usual and customary), and include reasonable administration fees.

The SFS is intended to minimize financial barriers to care for clients at or below 250 percent of the current Federal Poverty Guidelines (FPG). Fees are based upon family income and the number of people in the household. Based upon where they fall on the SFS, clients will be responsible for a set percentage of the usual and customary rate established by the LifeWorks NW CCBHC. The usual and customary rate is set based on the LifeWorks NW CCBHC cost studies. Fees required by the CCBHC clinics may be reduced or waived if it is determined that there is an inability to pay.

LifeWorks NW CCBHC requires payment at time of service. If a client is unable to pay at time of service, then the client will be billed and attempts will be made to collect. LifeWorks NW CCBHC staff will work with clients in arrears and attempts will be made to help them meet their obligations. Good faith effort on the part of the clients will be honored. No interest is charged on accounts in arrears. Clients who are behind in payments or refuse to pay shall be addressed by their clinician and/or fiscal manager.

DETERMINING ELIGIBIITY:  LifeWorks NW CCBHC staff will assist clients in determining whether they are eligible for sliding fee discounts. In an effort to reduce barriers to care, staff will ensure that the eligibility determination process is conducted in an efficient, respectful, and culturally appropriate manner. Client privacy and confidentiality will be protected throughout the process.

The following documents will be accepted for determining sliding fee eligibility:

  • Income tax returns
  • Two most recent pay stubs
  • Signed letter(s) from employers documenting earnings
  • Documentation of disability payments or unemployment benefits

While scheduling their first appointment, clients will be asked for information to help determine their eligibility for SFS. If eligible, they will be asked to bring accepted documentation to their first session. We will assist SFS clients in applying for OHP and other supports, if available. LifeWorks NW CCBHC adheres to state and federal rules regarding pursuit of third party, Medicaid and Medicare payments.

SFS eligibility will be reviewed at least annually, or if client circumstances change.

WAIVING FEES: No individuals will be denied behavioral health care services including but not limited to: crisis management services or an inability to pay for such services. The CCBHC Practice Manager has authority to waive or lower the cost of services, if warranted.

UNINSURED OR UNDER-INSURED: The SFS may serve clients with third party insurance when that insurance does not cover or only partially covers fees for services. These clients must also be eligible for the SFS based on income and family size. In such cases, the client will be responsible for the lesser of their insurance copay/deductible or their assigned their SFS fee amount.

PRIVATE INSURANCE:  If the client with insurance meets eligibility for SFS, reduced fees may be available using the SFS. LWNW CCBHC will document all co-pays and deductibles, as well as any need for prior authorization, and ensure that the client understands what their responsibility might be.

PRIVATE PAY:  Clients who are not on OHP or who do not have insurance coverage are considered to be “Private Pay.” If they are not eligible for the SFS program, they will be required to pay the full fee based upon the established usual and customary rates. If the client feels there are mitigating circumstances they may appeal this rate and ask for a reduced rate. There are no guarantees that further accommodations will be made.

OTHER CIRCUMSTANCES:  Situations where fees are determined by other agencies will be dealt with on a case by case basis (ex. Federal Parole & Probation) may require a co-pay).

FEE COLLECTION:  LWNW CCBHC commits itself to:

  • Being clear about the client’s responsibility.
  • Billing clients in a timely manner so they understand their account balance.
  • Responding in a timely manner to clients who are falling behind.
  • Collecting payments at time of service as much as possible.  However, clients will not be denied service if they are unable to pay at time of service.

Clinical staff will be aware of issues related to payment and be involved at a significant level in the resolution of the issue.

If a client becomes significantly in arrears due to failure to pay and fails to show a
“good faith” effort to resolve the situation, the account may be released to collections.
In some cases, accounts may be written off as uncollectable and will be deemed “charity” care.

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Don’t Miss Our 2017 Something to Talk About Breakfast!

Come to our 2017 Something to Talk About Breakfast

Join us for our annual complimentary breakfast and let’s raise our voices in support of the 21,000 people we serve – and all those still in need — to help them rediscover hope.

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Celebrate Kwanzaa with LifeWorks NW

JAMBO!* LifeWorks NW’s REAL Program (Recovery, Empowerment, Achievement in Life), a culturally-responsive, community-based program for adolescents, has selected NIA, the fifth principle and day of Kwanzaa, to renew our purpose of service in our community. Kwanzaa’s seven principles, the “Nguzo Saba,” are an integral part of the REAL program’s curriculum and service delivery. Members of the general public are invited to celebrate with us.

What: A free event featuring speakers, music, soul food, and the opportunity to meet the REAL staff while celebrating the principles of Kwanzaa among a caring community of people. The event will feature a short program with presentations by:
• Joyce Harris, Mother Kwanzaa
• Michael Chappie Grice, spoken word historian and educator
• Jazz music by Yugen Rashad with Dialog & Friends
Plus, a savory, African American traditional and favorite soul food dish: Gumbo!

When: Friday, Dec. 30, 2016 — 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

Where: LifeWorks NW’s Umoja Center, 4941 NE 17th St., Portland, OR 97211

Who: Adults and children are invited to attend the FREE community event, open to all.

*Jambo is the Swahili greeting of hello.

About Kwanzaa
Kwanzaa, the seven day, African American holiday, begins on Monday, Dec. 26, 2016 and ends on Sunday, Jan. 1, 2017.  Founded by Maulana Karenga, the week-long celebration embraces the Seven Principles of Kwanzaa, known as the “Nguzo Saba:”

  1. Umoja – Unity
  2. Kujichagulia – Self Determination
  3. Ujima – Collective Work and Responsibility
  4. Ujamaa – Cooperative Economics
  5. Nia – Purpose
  6. Kuumba – Creativity
  7. Imani — Faith
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Portland’s Premier Restaurants and Chefs to Appear at Event for Children’s Relief Nurseries

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From Lost to Found — Justina’s Journey of Discovery

You’re 22 and you’re lost, scared and depressed. Even in your young life, so much trauma has happened that you suffer Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Each breath gets harder. Anxiety is your shadow. The blanket of despair is heavy. You wonder, what’s the best way out?

For Justina, that path toward better possibilities began when she was referred by another agency and accepted into LifeWorks NW’s Transition Age Youth (TAY) program. TAY is a program designed for older adolescents and young adults who are moving out of the children’s mental health system and into adult mental health services. It targets individuals with complex needs who may be transitioning out of the state hospital, residential treatment, juvenile correction facilities, intensive outpatient programs or local hospitals. Its goal is to assist individuals to become as independent as possible, while reaching developmental milestones such as independent housing, education, employment and development of social relationships.

Justina recounted the depth of her despair, “I was suicidal when I first applied for the TAY program. I was lost, scared, depressed and PTSD was controlling my life. I never thought I would get or keep a job.”

Over the course of seven months, Justina worked with her LifeWorks NW therapist and case manager to set and accomplish goals and overcome barriers to achieve them. “I slowly discovered myself and built up my confidence and self-esteem,” she said. “I got my GED, moved out of a group home into a more independent setting, and will soon graduate from the substance abuse treatment program. Plus, in Supported Employment I learned about how to get and keep a job, and what to do to be comfortable in interviews. I could not have done any of that without TAY.”

Her Supported Employment specialist offered high praise for Justina’s success. “Although she faced some setbacks as she worked toward her goals, she remained resilient and didn’t give up. She learned to rely on resources like family and the TAY program when she needs help coping with stress and life’s struggles. She makes others feel warmly welcomed and has such a strong initiative and drive toward her goals – she continues on, even in the face of challenges.”

Today, Justina is growing up with confidence in herself and the assurance that she is on the right road now – one that leads toward only the brightest future.

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New Relief Nursery in Hillsboro will help children at risk of abuse and neglect

LifeWorks NW Adds Relief Nursery in Washington County
With a 6.5 percent increase* in child abuse/neglect incidents across Oregon
from FY2014 to FY2015, the need for intervention strategies is greater than ever.

Portland, Ore. – Aug. 30, 2016 — Every eight minutes across the state, there is a report of child abuse/neglect, according to the Oregon Association of Relief Nurseries (OARN). In fact, of the reports made during FFY 2015 (October 2014-September 2015), 10,402 Oregon children were known victims of abuse or neglect*. These sobering statistics are the catalyst for the intervention tactics employed through Children’s Relief Nurseries.

To help in the fight against child abuse and neglect, as of September 1, 2016, LifeWorks Northwest (LWNW) – a leading provider of mental health, addiction and prevention services in the Portland metro area – will open a satellite Children’s Relief Nursery in Washington County. The site, located in Hillsboro, will expand the nonprofit’s Relief Nursery reach across the tri-county area, joining its oldest site — North Portland (St. Johns) and two other satellites in Southeast Portland (Mill Park) and Gladstone.

“Relief nurseries have proven, positive impacts for children and their families. In fact, OARN data shows a 70 percent reduction in the incidence of abuse/neglect when Children’s Relief Nurseries intervene,” said Amy Shea Reyes, MA, LWNW service area director for prevention, intensive and specialty services. “Through our programs we have seen that same reduction in risks and development of stronger and healthier families. With the opening of our new nursery in Hillsboro, we will be able to serve 16 children (in two groups of eight each) and their families.”

The LWNW Hillsboro Children’s Relief Nursery will provide assistance to Washington County-area families with children ages 18 months to four years old. Relief Nursery services are offered within a culturally-appropriate, comprehensive and integrated early childhood and family support system to meet the needs of the individual family with children who have been abused or are at risk of child abuse and neglect. Early childhood specialists, mental health therapists and skills trainers will deliver programming that includes therapeutic early childhood preschool, parenting education and support and home-based services.

*Source: http://www.oregon.gov/DHS/CHILDREN/CHILD-ABUSE/Documents/2015-cw-data-book.pdf

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About LifeWorks NW
With sites across the tri-county metro area, LifeWorks NW serves nearly 19,000 people annually – from children and families to teens, adults and seniors – providing mental health, addiction and prevention services toward good health for all. One arm of our services is our Children’s Relief Nurseries, which focus on parenting and early intervention as effective solutions to prevent child abuse and neglect. For more information, visit lifeworksnw.org.

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Board Approves Long-term Lease for Washington County Mental Health Urgent Care Center

At their board meeting on July 26, the Washington County Board of Commissioners approved a 10-year lease for a new mental health urgent care center (MHUCC). The facility, the first of its kind in the county, will be located at 5240 NE Elam Young Parkway in Hillsboro and is slated to open in March 2017.

“Our community has long needed a walk-in center to address a critical gap in the mental health system,” says Chair Andy Duyck. “Individuals and their families want to avoid the kind of crisis that leads to the emergency room or even to jail. This center will provide a way to get help sooner in a more appropriate and less costly environment.”

The MHUCC will be a supportive place where adults and youth, including those in crisis, can receive care and assistance in accessing ongoing treatment and other helpful resources. It will offer crisis counseling, information and referral, treatment connection, and other types of supportive services to individuals who do not require intensive, hospital-based help to address mental health and addictions concerns.

“We conducted an extensive search to find the most suitable facility,” says Kristin Burke, Human Services manager with Washington County. “The building’s size and space configuration, location and proximity to public transportation meet all of our needs.”

Washington County is contracting with LifeWorks NW to provide MHUCC staffing and services. Staff will include master’s level clinicians, people experienced in treating addictions, and trained peers who have recovered from their own mental health issues. Existing County mental health crisis programs — also staffed by Lifeworks NW and focused on rapid assessment and connection to care — will also be housed at the MHUCC. These programs are largely mobile and often serve people in their homes or the community. The walk-in clinic will expand these services by offering a physical place people can go for help.

“We are thankful for the hard work of our staff and dozens of community partners who are making this vision a reality,” says Commissioner Bob Terry. “Washington County residents will benefit from the compassionate and supportive services this center can provide.”

The center will most likely be open 12 hours a day, including weekends. Both walk-ins and appointments will be available.

All Washington County Human Services staff and programs will move into an adjoining space. Neighboring organizations in the complex with related missions include Oregon Department of Human Services and Washington County Disability, Aging and Veteran Services. There will also be shared space available for other nonprofits to provide services onsite. “This makes connecting people to services even more seamless,” says Burke.

“We have a lot of exciting work ahead of us,” says Burke. “This includes coming up with a name that makes it clear what the facility is and does, but also one that makes people feel safe and welcome.”

The public is invited to submit name suggestions by August 31, 2016. They can submit a simple form online at www.co.washington.or.us/MHUCC or send an email directly to MHUCC@co.washington.or.us. The person who submits the selected name will receive a privately funded $100 gift certificate to the restaurant of his or her choice.

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The Quest for a Job

Getting a job and going to work; seems like the normal course of adult life. Unless it isn’t. And it often isn’t for individuals who may have lacked a support system that could set them on the right path. Maybe they never had an entry-level job as a teen or their home environment was unstable. Whatever the situation, getting and keeping a job can be tougher than it might seem.

That’s the life Richard faced. With minimal employment skills and unhealthy coping mechanisms, Richard just couldn’t hold down a job. His overall mental state was poor enough to result in hospitalizations and what seemed like a never-ending downward spiral.

When Richard connected with LifeWorks NW though, he began to see a positive change. The  LifeWorks NW Supported Employment team worked with Richard to not only help him learn better ways to cope and express his emotions, they aided him in identifying the kind of work that might best suit his interests and skills.

With a stronger sense of self and a positive outlook, in April 2016 Richard began working as a dishwasher – a position he still holds today. While continuing his connections with the Supported Employment team at LifeWorks NW, Richard has had fewer hospitalizations and uses healthy coping skills to de-escalate the kind of situations that might previously have caused him problems.

And with that steady income, Richard has purchased a television and was able to take his cat to the vet for a wellness check – the things of routine life. Thanks to the support of LifeWorks NW, Richard has turned his modest dreams into reality.

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