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Behavioral health services 

We serve members with an intellectual/developmental disability (I/DD). Are you enrolled in the Department of Developmental Disabilities (DDD)/Arizona Long Term Care System (ALTCS)? If yes, you can get behavioral health services for general mental health or substance use (GMH/SU) concerns. Depression and anxiety are examples of general mental health disorders. Substance use disorders (SUDs) include use, overuse or dependency on a substance. 


Just call us at ${MS_phone_1} or ${MS_phone_2} (TTY 711). We’re here for you ${MS_hours}. Or check your member handbook on our materials and forms page.

Integrated care 

Integrated care 

Integrated care provides care for the mind and body. We’ve made it easier to get care for both. Sometimes that means going to one place for all types of care. Or having someone coordinate care between behavioral and physical health providers. We have different ways to connect care so it’s easy and makes sense for you.  

Providers that offer integrated care focus on the whole person. A team of health care providers empowers people to improve their health and well-being. 



You can get care and services for behavioral health. This includes general mental health and substance use disorders (SUDs).

Outpatient providers complete a full assessment. They work with you and your family to decide what services you need, like:

  • Behavioral health services

  • Care management

  • Discharge planning

  • Peer support

  • Permanent supportive housing (PSH)

  • Primary care services

  • Residential behavioral health services 

  • Respite care for caregivers of children and youth

  • Supported employment

  • Assertive community treatment (ACT) for people with an SMI designation (PDF)

Read on to learn about each type of service. You can also get more details in your member handbook.

Behavioral health services 

You can get behavioral health care and services from a:

  • Psychiatrist

  • Psychiatric nurse practitioner 

  • Counselor  

You may also get case management from your provider.

We base all other adult behavioral health services on need. Read on to learn more about these services.

Care management

As your health plan, we provide care management. Our care managers can help you manage chronic health conditions, like diabetes or high blood pressure. They provide education and promote wellness.

Discharge planning

This is the process of preparing to move from one type of care to another. You might be moving from a hospital to your home. Or from a hospital to a long-term care facility. 

Planning helps ensure that you keep getting the care you need. You’ll understand what to do, like:

  • What appointments to make 

  • How to take your medicine

Planning also helps lower the chance of having problems or returning to a hospital or other facility. 

Peer support

You can get help from a peer support worker. This is someone with the lived experience of recovery from a mental health condition, substance use disorder (SUD) or both. They are certified to help you. And can guide you through the behavioral health care system. 

Permanent supportive housing (PSH)

Adults can get housing and housing services when they have an SMI designation. There are other eligibility requirements as well. Our provider network includes PSH services, including: 

  • Getting help with daily activities 

  • Budgeting 

  • Solving problems with landlords 

You can learn more about PSH on our more benefits page. 

Primary care services

At an integrated health home (IHH), people can get these services: 

  • Medical and annual physician exams 

  • Treatment 

  • Medicine (injections) 

  • Basic lab tests  

  • Other basic primary care services  

An IHH can also coordinate care for people in need of specialty health care services, like home health or dialysis. 

You’ll want to have comprehensive care in one electronic health record. Primary care and behavioral health teams provide complete, whole-person services.   

Residential behavioral health services


Services can include residential settings for behavioral health conditions. These structured settings provide counseling and teach independent living skills. Members get residential treatment and supervision 24 hours a day for up to 180 days. Some facilities are for men or women only.

Children and youth

Residential behavioral health settings include:

  • Behavioral Health Inpatient Facilities (BHIF)

  • Behavioral Health Residential Facilities (BHRF)

  • Therapeutic Foster Care (TFC)

Residential treatment for SUDs

Services can include residential settings for SUDs. These structured settings provide counseling and supervision to maintain sobriety and work on relapse prevention skills. Members get residential treatment and supervision 24 hours a day and usually lasts 30 days.

Respite care

Respite care is for caregivers of children and youth. It means taking time for yourself. The hours are based on your need. It may be on a short-term basis, like a few hours during the day. Or longer periods with overnight stays. 

The maximum number of total hours is 600 each benefit year (October 1 to September 30). Any respite hours you receive through the Department of Developmental Disabilities (DDD) count toward these 600 total hours.  

Supported employment

People who’d like to work can get help with supported employment (SE) services. These services connect people with the job that meets their: 

  • Preferences 

  • Interests 

  • Skills 

SE services focus on helping people get and keep jobs. Unsure about working or wondering how it affects benefits? Connect with a rehabilitation specialist (RS). With an RS, people can: 

  • Talk about their interests 

  • Connect with services to build social skills 

  • Connect with the community 

If you don’t have health coverage, you may still qualify for treatment with the substance abuse block grant (SABG). This is for people who don’t qualify for AHCCCS (Non-Title 19).  

Assertive community treatment (ACT)

Members with an SMI designation (PDF) can also get ACT. This approach focuses on person-centered recovery for people who have a diagnosis of severe and persistent mental illness. It offers:

  • Treatment

  • Rehabilitation

  • Support services 

To get ACT, you must have a:

  • Qualifying SMI diagnosis

  • Functional impairment as result of their diagnosis

SMI services start at age 18. You must be at least 17½ years old to have an SMI evaluation. If you need this first step:

  • Call us at ${MS_phone_1} or ${MS_phone_2} (TTY 711).

Once the evaluation and determination are complete, you’ll receive an SMI designation (PDF) if you fit the criteria.

More about behavioral health

Read on to learn more about behavioral health. You can also check your member handbook to find info about any behavioral health topic.  

BHRF care and services:

  • Are based on a per diem rate (24-hour day)

  • Need prior and continued authorization 

  • Don’t include room and board 

  • Aren’t locked facilities

BHRF is a 24-hour per day treatment.

This level of care is for members who need supervision at all times. BHRF assists with basic independent living skills, like: 

  • Bathing 

  • Cooking 

  • Doing laundry 

AHCCCS AMPM 320V (PDF) is the name of the clinical criteria providers use to see if people may benefit from this level of care. 

We process all BHRF applications as expedited requests. We also follow ACOM Policy 414 for expedited request time frames and requirements. 

Upon intake to and discharge from the BHRF, our outpatient and BHRF providers send notice to the:

  • Primary care physician (PCP)

  • Behavioral health provider

  • Agency

  • Tribal Regional Behavioral Health Authority (TRBHA) 


We have adopted the medical necessity criteria of AHCCCS, which includes:

  • Minimum elements defined in AMPM 320-V for admission

  • Expected treatment outcomes

  • Exclusionary criteria

  • Continued stay criteria

Admission, Assessment and Treatment Plan Expectations 

BHRF Providers rendering services shall follow the below outlined admission, assessment, and treatment planning requirements. 

  1. Except as provided in subsection R9-10-707(A)(9), a behavioral health assessment for a member is completed before treatment is initiated and within 48 hours of admission. 
  2. The CFT/ART/ is included in the development of the Treatment Plan within 48 hours of admission for members enrolled with Mercy Care. 
  3. BHRF documentation shall reflect:

    • All treatment services provided to the member, 
    • Each activity shall be documented in a separate, individualized medical record, including the date, time, and professional conducting treatment activity, 
    • Which treatment plan goals are being achieved, 
    • Progress towards desired treatment goal, and 
    • Frequency, length and type of each treatment service or session. 
  4. All BHRFs shall coordinate care with the outpatient treatment team throughout the admission, assessment, treatment, and discharge process.
  5. The Treatment Plan connects back to the member’s comprehensive Service Plan for members enrolled with Mercy Care.
  6. A comprehensive discharge plan is created during the development of the initial Treatment Plan and is reviewed and/or updated at each review thereafter. The discharge plan documents the following:
    • Clinical status for discharge, 
    • Member/guardian/designated representative and, CFT/ART , ALTCS understands follow-up treatment, crisis and safety plan, and 
    • Coordination of care and transition planning are in process (e.g. reconciliation of medications, applications for lower level of care submitted, follow-up appointments made, identification of wrap around supports and potential providers). 
  7. The BHRF staff and the CFT/ART meet to review and modify the Treatment Plan at least once a month. 
  8. A Treatment Plan may be completed by a BHP, or by a BHT with oversight and signature by a BHP within 24 hours. 
  9. The provider has a system to document and report on timeliness of BHP signature/review when the Treatment Plan is completed by a BHT. 
  10. The provider has a process to actively engage family/health care decision maker/designated representative in the treatment planning process as appropriate. 
  11. The provider’s clinical practices, as applicable to services offered and population served, shall demonstrate adherence to best practices for treating specialized service needs, including but not limited to: 

    • Cognitive/intellectual disability, 
    • Cognitive disability with comorbid Behavioral Health Condition(s), 
    • Older adults, and Co-Occurring disorders (substance use and Behavioral Health Condition(s), or 
    • Comorbid physical and Behavioral Health Condition(s). 
  12. Services deemed medically necessary through the assessment and/or CFT/ART/ALTCS which are not offered at the BHRF, shall be documented in the Service Plan and documentation includes a description of the need, identified goals and identified provider who will be meeting the need. The following services shall be made available and provided by the BHRF and cannot be billed separately unless otherwise noted below: 

    • Counseling and Therapy (group or individual): Behavioral Health Counseling and Therapy may not be billed on the same day as BHRF services unless specialized behavioral health counseling and therapy have been identified in the Service Plan as a specific member need that cannot otherwise be met as required within the BHRF setting, 
    • Skills Training and Development:
      • Independent Living Skills (e.g. self-care, household management, budgeting, avoidance of exploitation/safety education and awareness), 
      • Community Reintegration Skill building (e.g. use of public transportation system, understanding community resources and how to use them), and 
      • Social Communication Skills (e.g. conflict and anger management, same/opposite-sex friendships, development of social support networks, recreation). 
    • Behavioral Health Prevention/Promotion Education and Medication Training and Support Services including but not limited to:
      • Symptom management (e.g. including identification of early warning signs and crisis planning/use of crisis plan), 
      • Health and wellness education (e.g. benefit of routine medical check-ups, preventive care, communication with the PCP and other health practitioners), 
      • Medication education and self-administration skills, 
      • Relapse prevention, 
      • Psychoeducation Services and Ongoing Support to Maintain Employment Work/Vocational skills, educational needs assessment and skill building, 
      • Treatment for Substance Use Disorder (e.g. substance use counseling, groups), and 
      • Personal Care Services (see additional licensing requirements in A.A.C. R9-10- 702, R9-10-715, R9-10-814). 

BHRF and Medication Assisted Treatment 

Mercy Care expects BHRF Providers to establish policies and procedures to ensure members on MAT are not excluded from admission and are able to receive MAT to ensure compliance with Arizona Opioid Epidemic Act SB 1001, Laws 2018. First Special Session.

There are laws about who can see your behavioral health info with or without permission. People need permission to share info about:

  • Substance use treatment 

  • Communicable diseases (for example, HIV/AIDS) 

People may not always need permission to share your behavioral health info. One example is sharing info to help arrange and pay for your care. At times, people may share your info with:  

  • Physicians and other agencies that health, social, or welfare services  

  • Your medical and behavioral health providers  

  • Certain state agencies that take part in your care and treatment

  • The clinical team who takes part in your care

  • The court-ordered treatment team 

At other times, it may be helpful to share your behavioral health info with agencies, like schools. People may need written permission before they share your info.  

Did the Department of Child Safety (DCS) place a child in your care? You may be a foster parent, staff in a group home, other person or agency. You can consent to a child’s evaluation and treatment for: 

  • Routine medical treatment 

  • Routine dental treatment 

  • Behavioral health services   

Here are some examples of behavioral health services. Out-of-home caregivers can consent to these services for children:   

  • Assessment and service planning  

  • Counseling and therapy  

  • Rehabilitation services  

  • Medical services  

  • Psychiatric evaluation  

  • Most medicines for behavioral health treatment  

  • Lab services  

  • Support services  

  • Case management  

  • Family support  

  • Respite care  

  • Rides  

  • Crisis services


Need language help?

You can get an interpreter at no cost. Or get info in another language or format. Visit our page on language help. You can also call us at ${MS_phone_1} or ${MS_phone_2} (TTY 711). 

No health coverage?

If you don’t have health coverage, you may still get treatment with the substance abuse block grant (SABG). This is for people who don’t qualify for AHCCCS (Non-Title 19). 

In crisis?

Get help right away from the Arizona behavioral health crisis line: 

Or visit our crisis services page to learn more.