Baltimore Public Agencies Merge to Form $70M Non-Profit

Addiction Treatment Industry Newswire
07/25/2013 –ATIN – Continuing what has likely become the hottest merger trend ever for publicly funded addiction treatment drug rehab alcohol rehab facilities, as well as the dual diagnosis trend of public substance abuse and mental health facility mergers, Baltimore Substance Abuse Systems (BSAS) and Baltimore Mental Health Systems (BMHS) are combining this fall to form a new nonprofit organization – Behavioral Health System Baltimore. The two entities together will employ 70 people with a nearly $70M annual budget; and the deal comes as Maryland, like dozens of other states, prepares to merge its state addictions and mental health agencies.

PA Import

The new Behavioral Health System Baltimore is importing talent from Pennsylvania for leadership. The new CEO will be Bernard J. McBride, currently director of Bucks County (Pa.) Behavioral Health System. The move is relatively unusual as recent similar mergers in Florida, Texas and many other places have tended to pick and promote talent from within to lead merged entities. The new agency will not be a provider itself, but will operate as a hybrid institution that combines advocacy and awareness functions with the function of allocator of spending resources to addiction treatment and mental health providers throughout the Baltimore area.

“Coordination of Care” Pioneer

The former Baltimore Substance Abuse Systems is a pioneer in the promotion of what it calls the proper “coordination of care” for those clients who are chronic users of public substance abuse and mental health funding – Medicaid principally – with its studies showing that if care is properly monitored and “coordinated” between various health care providers that large cost savings can be generated. Thus, the merger announced today in Baltimore, and being effectuated nationwide lately between addictions and psychiatric public agencies generally, is pretty much exactly the kind of bureaucratic and organizational realignment that BSAS research white papers have been calling for.

read our story on the recent Southwest Florida merger


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