Free Through Recovery looks to change behavioral health treatment in North Dakota

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BISMARCK, N.D. - A new program from the North Dakota Department of Human Services is trying to change how the state treats behavioral health issues.

Photo courtesy of the North Dakota Department of Human Services

Free Through Recovery will give behavioral health services to at-risk individuals that didn't have access before. The program starts on Feb. 1. Pamela Sagness with the Department of Human Services says health care providers will be reimbursed based on patient outcomes.

“It gives really freedom to the providers to really be creative about what's going to work for individuals, but at the same time, reaching the overall goal we have as a state,” said Sagness.

How does reimbursement look? According to the Department of Human Services, providers will be paid a base rate per participant, per month, for providing care coordination and recovery services, including peer support. Those providers may receive an additional 20 percent per participant, per month for each participant who meets at least 3 out of the 4 identified outcomes.

These outcomes are stable housing, stable employment, recovery and reduced criminal justice involvement.

Sagness said she expects the program will serve more than 500 people across the state.