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FAQ for Providers

With the aim of advancing behavioral health for individuals, families and communities, Baltimore Substance Abuse Systems (bSAS) and Baltimore Mental Health Systems (BMHS)merged their work to become a new nonprofit organization named Behavioral Health System Baltimore (BHSB). The following FAQs are designed to answer many of the questions you may have about this move.

Behavioral Health System Baltimore will continue to support providers during and after the merger process. Our goal is to make the local merger feel seamless to providers. We understand how important grant funding is to support services that are not reimbursable. BHSB will continue to advocate for what the city needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does this local merger relate to what is happening at the state level?

There is a connection between what is happening at the state level and what is happening at the local level. The goal in Baltimore is to not just react to or replicate what is happening at the state level, but to create a new organization that is highly responsive to the needs of Baltimore’s residents.

Will Behavioral Health System Baltimore be connected to the Baltimore City Health Department?

BHSB will continue to work closely with the city. The Commissioner of Health will chair BHSB’ board of the directors. BHSB will remain a separate nonprofit, 501(c)3 corporation.

How will these changes affect FY14 contracts for providers?

The process for entering into contracts will not change for FY14.

How will the merger affect funding?

We don’t anticipate funding impact as a direct result of merger activities. However, there may be continued funding challenges because of state and federal budget cuts.

Will this local merger increase the data reporting burden on providers?

There will be no increase in data reporting as a result of the merger. We understand that the administrative burden of data reporting is cumbersome and we will continue to work with the state to address this matter. We are exploring ways to ensure that valuable data for informed decision-making is available without increasing the burden on providers. However, as the state merger continues, there will be some changes in requirements at the local level.

Why are we integrating now, before the state has fully merged the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Administration (ADAA) and the Mental Hygiene Administration (MHA)?

Integration doesn’t happen in a single step or overnight. The state has begun the process of merging the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Administration (ADAA) and the Mental Hygiene Administration (MHA) and integrating their functions under the Behavioral Health Administration. State officials have urged those in Baltimore to begin their own integration process to ensure that there is one entity, one chief executive officer, and one governing body managing the change process in the city.

It typically takes more than a year to go from two separate organizations to one organization with a unified culture and activities. The steps being taken now will create a single organization that will be in a strong position to respond as additional changes occur in coming years.

Why didn’t I receive payment?

Contract payments are withheld if BHS has not received the required reports or if the reports are incomplete.  Contact your administrative specialist if you believe your organization is compliant with all these requirements.

Where can I locate the reporting forms?

All reporting forms can be found on the Forms page.

When is my site visit?

Quality Improvement staff will notify providers of site visit dates.  If you have further questions, please contact BHS at 410-837-2647.

How can I become a provider?

Please contact BHSB’ Quality Improvement at 410-837-2647 for guidance. For information about licensure, contact the Office of Health Care Quality at