OBRA Services (Nursing Home Facilities)

What are OBRA Services?

The Omnibus Reconciliation Act of 1987 (OBRA) is a federally funded program. It requires nursing home facilities to meet certain standards to qualify for Medicare or Medicaid reimbursement for persons with a mental illness or a developmental disability.

The OBRA Program staff at Bay-Arenac Behavioral Health provides special services to help meet these standards. These services include reviewing pre-admission screening forms for people entering a nursing facility to identify individuals with a mental illness or a developmental disability. Based on the results of the preadmission screening an evaluation to assess the individual's mental health and treatment needs might be completed prior to admission and annually thereafter. This evaluation is completed to make sure that people who have developmental disabilities or a mental illness are appropriately placed in a nursing facility and to be sure they are receiving appropriate mental health treatment.

Who can benefit from OBRA Services?

OBRA Services are available for current or future nursing facility residents who have mental illness or a developmental disability.

How do OBRA Services help an individual?

The OBRA program provides an assessment that helps determine the need for nursing facility care and mental health services. Nursing facility residents with a mental illness or developmental disability may qualify for additional services to help promote independence. A person-centered planning approach is used to help identify an individual's strengths, dreams, goals, and desires. OBRA staff may help an individual access psychiatric services, individual psychotherapy or group psychotherapy, mental health treatment monitoring, resident and family psycho-education, and specialized services based on the needs of the person. When nursing facility care is no longer needed, OBRA Services staff will help secure alternative living arrangements for individuals with a severe mental illness or a developmental disability.

How can you access OBRA Services?

If you are living in a private residence in the community, you may be referred by your family physician. If you are in a hospital your social worker or discharge planner may refer you if nursing facility care is anticipated. Referrals are accepted from individual families, community physicians, hospitals and nursing homes. Information on the referral process in Bay and Arenac counties may be obtained from OBRA staff by calling (989) 895-2240 or toll- free to 1-800-327-4693.