BATON ROUGE - The Louisiana Department of Health today announced that four companies have submitted proposals to become the Statewide Management Organization (SMO) for the state's Louisiana Behavioral Health Partnership and Coordinated System of Care (CSoC).

The Louisiana Behavioral Health Partnership was designed to transform how the state delivers and pays for behavioral health services for adults and children with the primary goal of improving coordination of those services, quality of care and outcomes for clients. The Coordinated System of Care is a key piece of the partnership and targets about 2,500 children and youth with significant behavioral health challenges or co-occurring disorders that are in, or at, imminent risk of out-of-home placement. It was developed and funded through a coordinated effort of all of Louisiana's child-serving agencies, including the Department of Children and Family Services, Department of Health and Hospitals, Department of Education and the Office of Juvenile Justice.

The provider chosen as the SMO will be responsible for improving access, quality and efficiency of behavioral health services for all children (including those eligible for the CSoC) as well as adults with serious mental illness and/or addictive disorders. Also, the SMO will develop a network of qualified behavioral health care providers to offer a full array of services to meet the needs of people with behavioral health challenges.

"The Louisiana Behavioral Health Partnership is a critical part of this administration's health care transformation agenda," said LDH Secretary Bruce D. Greenstein. "For too long, our children and families have struggled to navigate a disjointed bureaucracy and we've made a commitment to bring all of our child-serving agencies together and set new standards of success that put their needs first. The entity ultimately chosen as the SMO will have a tremendous responsibility to improve the lives of Louisiana families, and this competitive procurement process helps ensure we have the best organization in place to meet our high performance expectations."

The following four companies submitted proposals to be the SMO:

  • Value Options Louisiana
  • Cenpatico of Louisiana, Inc.
  • Perform Care Behavioral Health Solutions, an AmeriHealth Company
  • Merit Health Insurance Company, an affiliate of Magellan Health Service, Inc.

The Department released the Request for Proposals for the SMO on July 8 and received 220 written comments, which were posted online with the Department's responses at on Friday, July 29.

The proposals will be thoroughly evaluated by a multi-agency and multi-disciplinary review committee and the proposal with the highest score and shown to be in the best interest of the state will be recommended for the contract. LDH anticipates announcing the recommendation to award on Sept. 5.

The SMO is scheduled to begin operations on March 1, 2012.

More information on the Louisiana Behavioral Health Partnership and Coordinated Systems of Care can be found on

The Louisiana Department of Health strives to protect and promote health statewide and to ensure access to medical, preventive and rehabilitative services for all state citizens. To learn more about LDH, visit For up-to-date health information, news and emergency updates, follow LDH's blog, Twitter account and Facebook.