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OptumHealth to manage Salt Lake County's mental health programs

June 2, 2011
by News release
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Salt Lake City — OptumHealth announced it will manage Salt Lake County’s publicly funded mental health programs, which include the Medicaid program, county-funded services for the uninsured and federal mental health block grants.

OptumHealth will manage the administration of mental health services, contracting of behavioral care providers, quality control, finances and reporting functions. The company will also implement innovative programs to provide community-based support for people in crisis and develop new solutions that enable recovery. OptumHealth will also integrate medical and behavioral health care when appropriate to support a person's overall health and achieve better outcomes.

This new relationship with Salt Lake County expands OptumHealth’s presence in Salt Lake City. OptumHealth currently employs more than 500 people in the community, and expects to hire up to 30 more people to fill both clinical and administrative roles in support of its new relationship with the county.

“It’s a privilege to be selected by Salt Lake County to serve the mental health needs of more than 85,000 Medicaid recipients and others in the local community,” said Andy Sekel, PhD, CEO of OptumHealth Behavioral Solutions. “We look forward to supporting mental health providers and community leaders in the important work they do to help people reach recovery and resiliency.”

OptumHealth also named Rick Elorreaga as executive director for OptumHealth’s Salt Lake County operations. He joined OptumHealth in 2003 and most recently served as Western Regional vice president for the company’s Behavioral Solutions business. Elorreaga grew up in Salt Lake City and graduated from the University of Utah.

“Rick’s in-depth experience improving mental health systems and strong Utah roots make him a perfect fit to help the community deliver high quality, cost-effective mental health care to people in need,” said Sekel.

OptumHealth is currently meeting with behavioral care providers to ensure a seamless transition and prevent any disruption of services for people seeking care. OptumHealth’s contract with the county goes into effect July 1, 2011.

OptumHealth serves more than 5 million public sector members in 38 states with programs that support recovery, resiliency and wellness for people facing behavioral health conditions, chronic illness or complex medical conditions.

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