Planning for HealthChoices in the Lehigh Valley started as a bi-county project of Lehigh and Northampton Counties. Early in 2000 both counties convened regular meetings of stakeholders to provide input into the development of the HealthChoices Program for Lehigh and Northampton Counties. These stakeholders included providers of service and consumers and family members involved in the service delivery system. Three stakeholder committees were formed:
These Committees met monthly throughout the development of HealthChoices in the Lehigh Valley. Committee members assisted the counties to select their managed care partner, Magellan Behavioral Health of Pennsylvania. They also assisted the counties to formulate key policy decisions concerning the HealthChoices Program for the Lehigh Valley.
To formalize a bi-county forum for stakeholder oversight of the program, the counties formed the HealthChoices Advisory Board. This Board has membership from each of the stakeholder committees, representatives from the citizen’s Advisory Boards for mental health and substance abuse from both counties, and an at large member from each county. The HealthChoices Advisory Board meets quarterly and reviews all aspects of the program.
As the program matured in 2003, the three (3) stakeholder committees were combined into the Community Healthcare Alliance (CHA) and the stakeholder committees referred to above became sub-committees of the CHA. The CHA continues to meet monthly. Its major agenda is quality improvement, reinvestment planning, and any matters of interest to consumers, families, or providers.