122C-115.2. LME business plan required; content, process, certification.

(a) Every county, through an area authority or county program, shall provide for the development, review, and approval of an LME business plan for the management and delivery of mental health, developmental disabilities, and substance abuse services. An LME business plan shall provide detailed information regarding how the area authority or county program will meet State standards, laws, and rules for ensuring quality mental health, developmental disabilities, and substance abuse services, including outcome measures for evaluating program effectiveness. The business plan shall be in effect for at least three State fiscal years. The Secretary shall develop a model business plan that illustrates compliance with this section, including specific State standards and rules adopted by the Secretary. The Secretary shall provide each LME with the model business plan to assist the LME in developing its business plan.

(b) Business plans shall include the following:

(1) Description of how the following core administrative functions will be carried out:

a. Planning. - Local services plans that identify service gaps and methods for filling the gaps, ensure the availability of an array of services based on consumer needs, provision of core services, equitable service delivery among member counties, and prescribing the efficient and effective use of all funds for targeted services. Local planning shall be an open process involving key stakeholders.

b. Provider network development. - Ensuring available, qualified providers to deliver services based on the business plan. Development of new providers and monitoring provider performance and service outcomes. Provider network development shall address consumer choice and fair competition. For the purposes of this section, a "qualified provider" means a provider who meets the provider qualifications as defined by rules adopted by the Secretary.

c. Service management. - Implementation of uniform portal process. Service management shall include appropriate level and intensity of services, management of State hospitals/facilities bed days, utilization management, case management, and quality management. If services are provided directly by the area authority or county program, then the plan shall indicate how consumer choice and fair competition in the marketplace is ensured.

d. Financial management and accountability. - Carrying out business functions in an efficient and effective manner, cost-sharing, and managing resources dedicated to the public system.

e. Service monitoring and oversight. - Ensuring that services provided to consumers and families meet State outcome standards and ensure quality performance by providers in the network.

f. Evaluation. - Self-evaluation based on statewide outcome standards and participation in independent evaluation studies.

g. Collaboration. - Collaborating with other local service systems in ensuring access and coordination of services at the local level. Collaborating with other area authorities and county programs and the State in planning and ensuring the delivery of services.

h. Access. - Ensuring access to core and targeted services.

(2) Description of how the following will be addressed:

a. Reasonable administrative costs based on uniform State criteria for calculating administrative costs and costs or savings anticipated from consolidation.

b. Proposed reinvestment of savings toward direct services.

c. Compliance with the catchment area consolidation plan adopted by the Secretary.

d. Based on rules adopted by the Secretary, method for calculating county resources to reflect cash and in-kind contributions of the county.

e. Financial and services accountability and oversight in accordance with State and federal law.

f. The composition, appointments, selection process, and the process for notifying each board of county commissioners of all appointments made to the area authority board.

g. The population base of the catchment area to be served.

h. Use of local funds for the alteration, improvement, and rehabilitation of real property as authorized by and in accordance with G.S. 122C-147.

i. The resources available and needed within the catchment area to prevent out-of-community placements and shall include input from the community public agencies.

(3) Other matters determined by the Secretary to be necessary to effectively and efficiently ensure the provision of mental health, developmental disabilities, and substance abuse services through an area authority or county program.

(c) The county program or area authority proposing the business plan shall submit the proposed plan as approved by the board of county commissioners to the Secretary for review and certification. The Secretary shall review the business plan within 30 days of receipt of the plan. If the business plan meets all of the requirements of State law and standards adopted by the Secretary, then the Secretary shall certify the area authority or county program as a single-county area authority, a single-county program, a multicounty area authority, or a multicounty program. A business plan that demonstrates substantial compliance with the model business plan developed by the Secretary shall be deemed as meeting the requirements of State law and standards adopted by the Secretary. Implementation of the certified plan shall begin within 30 days of certification. If the Secretary determines that changes to the plan are necessary, then the Secretary shall so notify the submitting county program or area authority and the applicable participating boards of county commissioners and shall indicate in the notification the changes that need to be made in order for the proposed program to be certified. If the Secretary determines that a business plan needs substantial changes in order to be certifiable, the Secretary shall provide the LME submitting the plan with detailed information on each area of the plan that is in need of change, the particular State law or standard adopted by the Secretary that has not been met, and instructions or assistance on what changes need to be made in order for the plan to be certifiable. The submitting county program or area authority shall have 30 days from receipt of the Secretary's notice to make the requested changes and resubmit the amended plan to the Secretary for review. The Secretary shall provide whatever assistance is necessary to resolve outstanding issues. Amendments to the business plan shall be subject to the approval of the participating boards of county commissioners.

(d) Annually, in accordance with procedures established by the Secretary, each area authority and county program submitting a business plan shall enter into a memorandum of agreement with the Secretary for the purpose of ensuring that State funds are used in accordance with priorities expressed in the business plan.

(e) The Secretary may waive any requirements of this section that are inconsistent with or incompatible with contracts entered into between the Department and the area authority for the management responsibilities for the delivery of services for individuals with mental illness, intellectual or other developmental disabilities, and substance abuse disorders under a 1915(b)/(c) Medicaid Waiver. (2001-437, s. 1.9; 2002-164, s. 4.3; 2006-142, s. 4(c); 2007-504, s. 2.1; 2012-151, s. 9(b).)