NH DHHS Receives $10 Million Grant to Help Improve Health of Medicaid Recipients

Concord, NH – The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is

awarding the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) a

$10 Million grant for an innovative program that will improve health

outcomes for adults with mental illness. National data has shown that

adults who have a severe mental illness have a 25-year shorter life span

than those without. NH has been actively attacking this problem, and this

program will include specialized services to address the barriers that

prevent individuals with a severe mental illness from effectively managing

their health, including physical fitness, improved nutrition, and smoking

cessation assistance. This grant will fund services for nearly 4,500

Medicaid recipients at New Hampshire’s ten mental health centers.

“This is a great opportunity for us to work within our own Department

integrating our public health and mental health programs in an effort to

improve the health of those we serve,” said DHHS Commissioner Nicholas

Toumpas. “

This program is aimed at helping to fight obesity, smoking, and inactivity,

all of which result in increased rates of heart disease and other chronic

health conditions. The New Hampshire Medicaid Wellness Incentive Program

(NH-WIP), will promote and reward healthy lifestyle choices leading to

improved health, and reduced Medicaid healthcare costs.

"We are excited about the opportunity New Hampshire has been provided to

take a leadership role in attacking the issue of early mortality for

individuals who struggle with a mental illness,” stated Erik Riera,

Administrator for DHHS’ Bureau of Behavioral Health. “We have already

demonstrated this type of initiative can be successful. The InShape

Program, which was developed here in New Hampshire by Monadnock Family

Services, has significantly improved the overall health of hundreds of

individuals, this new effort puts us in a position to offer help to

thousands more."

This program and grant application to CMS was developed by a team from the

Centers for Health and Aging and the Prevention Research Center at The

Dartmouth Institute. It will be co-directed by Dr. Stephen Bartels, who

oversees the Dartmouth team, Erik Riera, the Administrator of New

Hampshire’s Bureau of Behavioral Health, and Dr. Doris Lotz, Medical

Director for New Hampshire’s Office of Medicaid.