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Reminders and Best Practices for Behavioral Health Providers

Date: 04/02/24

At Arkansas Total Care, we value the work our provider partners do to help our members reach their health goals. We want to make it easier for you to focus on what matters — using your expertise to improve the quality of life of our members. Making administrative tasks easier for you and your staff is a priority, so we occasionally produce articles to ensure you have quick access to some of our requirements and best practices.
These guidelines combine regulatory and clinical best practices to set you and our members up for success. This information can also be found on our Provider Resources page under the Reference Materials heading in our 2024 Provider Manual.   

When a member requires admission to a residential psychiatric treatment facility for U21, please use the following revenue codes as applicable:

  • 124 — Residential treatment center only
  • 128 — Sexual offender program only
  • 129 — Residential treatment unit only

Please note that residential treatment centers are free-standing residential centers. Residential treatment units are within an inpatient psychiatric provider. Discharge planning is an important component of an inpatient stay and should begin upon admission to the treatment facility.

The discharge plan should be sent to either the Care Coordination or Utilization Management department within one business day of discharge so that Arkansas Total Care can ensure the member and their supports are following up with the discharge instructions.

 The final discharge plan must include the following:

  • Education for the member that is specific to their diagnosis. This information should include how to recognize signs and symptoms and empower the member to be an active participant in recovery or condition maintenance.
  • Suggestions for self-care activities and reminders and cues to help the member identify when to use them. This should build upon skills developed in treatment.
  • A plan for integrated care, including follow-up appointments with scheduled dates and times, and a signed release to send treatment
  • records to all providers the member will be following up with.
  • Education on medication management that helps the member understand their regimen, establish a routine, and communicate with providers about any questions or changes in lifestyle or symptoms.
  • A list of supports, roles and responsibilities, plan for school transition, and any needed follow-up with the school, including which school the member will return to, if applicable.
  • Information on how to return to care if needed, including phone numbers and instructions on how to contact care providers.
  • A safety plan.

For members in active treatment: Active treatment is defined as a minimum of 40 treatment hours per week, not including classroom time, five of which are conducted by a licensed mental health professional (LMHP), with a minimum of one being in an individual setting rather than a group setting. Included in the five hours per week by a LMHP, there should be a minimum of two family therapy sessions per month, as well as a weekly visit with
the psychiatrist.

All incidents should be reported to Arkansas Total Care in accordance with the standards outlined in the Arkansas Total Care Provider Manual. The DHS QA Incident Report form is available on our Provider Resources page under the Reference Materials heading. Be sure to list your facility in the HCBS Provider field at the bottom of the form and send completed forms via secure email to