View Point Health Inc., a state-created agency for behavioral health and developmental disabilities, continues to expand with a new teen health program, the recent purchase of properties in Conyers and a new housing project development in Covington.
VPH, formerly known as the Gwinnet, Rockdale, Newton Community Service Board, recently acquired two properties in Olde Town Conyers from longtime resident Helen Brisendine to provide housing for its clients.
One property is located on Green Street and the other at 962 O’Kelly Street. The properties consist of four single units at one location and a two bedroom apartment at the other.
VPH currently operates two small residences for the developmentally disabled with four beds each on Zingara Road and Peek Street.
The agency is one of 25 in the state created to provide services for mental health, addiction recovery, and developmental disabilities.
Adolescent mental health
In a VPH board meeting Thursday, members were also presented with a proposed integrated care approach for youth that would be housed at the Rockdale facility.
According to Chad Jones of the organization’s Child and Adolescent Program, View Point Health is currently piloting at their Norcross Center an integrated behavioral and physical health model—Four Corners—that would allow kids to be treated for both behavioral and physical outpatient services.
The program replaces the traditional separate outpatient doctor and mental health counseling models. As a result, children would have immediate access to a complete assessment of their physical and mental wellness.
“We want to create a direct relationship between physical and mental health services,” said Jones.
The program had been piloted for the last three months; it will be evaluated for another six months in Norcross before it moves to the Rockdale Center location at 977 Taylor Street, Jones said.
When it is integrated, the program would expand the existing adult rehabilitation center to include children. Oakhurst Medical Center in Decatur would be the designated federally-qualified health center to service those youth.
Clover Bridge Village
The VPH board also voted to recommend that the VPH formed non-profit, Behavioral Health of Georgia Inc., set up single asset entities for Covington-based Clover Bridge Village and Lawrenceville-based Bridgeway Village.
According to CFO David Crews, the Ga. Department of Community Affairs Permanent Supportive Housing Program legally required both properties to be held in individual entities so that each maintained the income generated through the housing programs.
Clover Bridge Village will be a two-story facility with approximately 30 single units and several double units for VPH patients who need to transition to stable housing as they reintegrate in to the community.
Clover Bridge Village initially started out as a partnership between the city of Covington and the Covington Housing Authority, Crews explained.
The housing unit is a part of the city of Covington’s Walker’s Bend redevelopment plan, a residential initiative addressing a declining subdivision located less than one mile from the town square.
View Point Health was brought on as a service provider partner, but was later requested by Covington’s Department of Community Affairs to be the owner of the housing unit.
Plans to break ground on the project are tentatively scheduled for October with a completion date of 9 to 12 months. VPH currently has $3.9 million on reserve for the project.
All of these projects come at a time when VPH is evaluating its budget for FY 2013. As with most other state and federally funded programs, the agency looks to see some of its funding cut in the upcoming fiscal year due to tight state and federal budgets.
Currently, View Point Health is sitting on a little over $26.5 million in revenues for year-to-date activity.
Last year, the organization gave up its contract to manage Gwinnett County transportation services for its patients as well as senior citizens in the county.
Eliminating that contract saw VPH’s funds decrease by about $1.6 million. However, they made it up through upticks in Medicaid, Veteran’s Administration, Medicare and insurance.
Yet with a loss in program expenses from subcontracts at around $1.2 million, Viewpoint Health increased its net revenues by $1.7 million as of March 31, and looks to see its fund balance go up.
Right now, they are waiting to see how the U.S. Supreme Court vote on the healthcare reform law will pan out in order to prepare for future client needs.
“There is a lot of uncertainty as to what is going on in Washington,” said Crews.