Unison Health selected for OhioRISE program

Unison Health is one of 20 providers in the State of Ohio to be selected to build a local care coordination system for youth with complex behavioral health and multi-system needs. Unison is the sole provider in Fulton and Lucas counties – and in seven other Northwest Ohio counties – selected by Aetna Better Health of Ohio, in partnership with the Ohio Department of Medicaid (ODM), to build this system of care for Ohio’s new OhioRISE (Resilience through Integrated Systems and Excellence) Program. Aetna was selected by ODM to serve as the only statewide OhioRISE managed care plan.

Under the direction of ODM and OhioRISE, Unison will serve as the care management entity to provide wrap-around care coordination and grow the system of care, as needed, to serve youth (ages 6-20) who not only have intense behavioral health and/or substance use disorder needs but are also served by multiple other systems in the community such as foster care, juvenile justice, child protection services, intellectual and developmental disabilities, etc.

“We are pleased that the Ohio Department of Medicaid and the Governor’s office included Unison Health as a management entity for OhioRISE. Improving care for children with complex needs is critical and Unison is committed to working with our local communities and providers to ensure that these children receive the right kind of care and services today and in the future,” said Jeff De Lay, President and CEO, Unison Health.

OhioRISE – jointly developed by ODM, the Governor’s Office of Children’s Initiatives, and the Ohio Family and Children First Cabinet Council – is anticipated to launch in July 2022 and will be available to youth under age 21 who are Medicaid-eligible and meet the program’s eligibility criteria using an Ohio version of the nationally adopted Child and Adolescent Needs and Strengths (CANS) assessment, or be admitted to behavioral health inpatient care or a psychiatric residential treatment facility.

In addition to Lucas and Fulton counties, Unison will serve Defiance, Williams, Henry, Paulding, Van Wert, Putnam and Mercer counties in coordinating and building a system of care for youth in those areas.

Within each of its designated counties, Unison will be responsible for creating a seamless and integrated care coordination network and build community resources to ensure there is a strong network of care that meet the complex needs of children enrolled in OhioRISE.

In order to successfully provide care coordination and connect youth to those services, Unison plans to add up to 200 new jobs. New positions will include licensed social workers, counselors and nurses, among others.

“Our work has only just begun. Today, we are starting to review services available and where we need to build capacity across all nine counties so that integrated care coordination can be delivered close to home, where kids are surrounded by families and communities they know and trust,” De Lay said.

De Lay shared that over time the agency will serve approximately 1,300 to 3,000 youth enrolled in OhioRISE throughout the nine-county area. Additionally, ODM – through the OhioRISE Transition Grant – has awarded Unison $1 million to assist in growing its capacity in order to meet needs and services.