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Familiar Faces

The Familiar Faces initiative is systems coordination for individuals who are high utilizers of the jail (defined as having been booked four or more times in a twelve-month period) and who also have a mental health and/or substance use condition. In late summer 2014, a group of senior leaders from within the community and King County (the Management Guidance Team) commissioned a Design Team who is charged with mapping the current state for this population as they transition from the jail to and within the community. More about organizations involved in this effort.

In April 2015, the group will develop a future vision for how these systems can better serve this population and improve their health and social outcomes, the quality of services they receive and lower costs. Implementation of identified changes will begin in 2015.

Proposed key outcomes for this population include:

  • improved health status,
  • improved housing stability,
  • reduced criminal justice involvement,
  • reduced avoidable hospital emergency department use,
  • improved client satisfaction with quality of life, and
  • reduced population-level health disparities

Medicare-Medicaid financial alignment demonstration

In February 2015, work toward implementation of the capitated managed care project for people who are eligible for Medicaid and Medicare was stopped. Learn more (PDF).

Physical/behavioral health integration

Efforts are underway to respond to 2SSB 6312, a bill signed during the 2014 legislative session concerning the state purchasing of mental health and chemical dependency treatment services. Some of the key components to this bill include:

  • Alignment of Medicaid purchasing areas for physical health, mental health, and substance abuse treatment services into common Regional Service Areas (RSAs). The state recently announced the new RSAs; King County has been designated as a stand-alone RSA.

  • Integrated purchasing of chemical dependency and mental health services through managed care contracts by April 2016. To achieve this goal, each regional service area will have a Behavioral Health Organization (BHO) that will be responsible for the administration and delivery of integrated behavioral health services.

  • Regional service areas may elect to become "early adopters" of full integration of physical, mental health, and substance abuse treatment services by January 1, 2016. Early adopter regions are eligible to participate in a share of any savings that accrue as a result of full integration.

King County is conducting an analysis of the potential options for integration, including consideration of the risks and benefits to King County in pursuing early adopter status.

More information on these physical/behavioral health integration efforts can be found online: