This discussion is about Pathways to Wellness: Integrating Refugee Health and Well-Being.
Congratulations on being selected a Finalist in the Making More Health competition! This is a novel idea in dealing with the unique mental health problems of refugees and has a tremendous social impact potential. Can you tell us more about how you plan to make the project sustainable in the future? How will you move beyond donations?
-From the BI Judges Panel
Thank you for your question. When refugees arrive in the USA they receive Medicaid for 8 months. The vast majority of States allow mental health coverage under their Medicaid plan. We believe that if we can find new arrivals early enough, we can assist during that 8 months, and often longer as many states (including Washington) has supplemental funding for mental health for refugees. In short, the therapeutic piece should be provided for under existing funding streams and sustainable.
The actual screening itself does cost extra time at the health screening entity. In King County, this is Public Health. And, time is money, so it does add cost. Washington State has added this screening as a billable service/pay point so that Public Health can be reimbursed for this screen. However, some states that have contacted us just plan on including it as a regular part of their care services whether they get reimbursed or not. They feel that a 5-10 minute investment is possible even without funding.
The donations for this project are to package the validated tools and to provide technical assistance to other sites seeking to implement the project, so that we can make a nation-wide impact.
Does this help? If I didn't answer your question fully, or misunderstood, let me know.