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Ohio officials spread word on new Medicaid benefit

By ANN SANNER

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — State officials are spreading the word about a plan to better coordinate care for Medicaid beneficiaries with severe mental illness who also face chronic medical issues, such as heart disease or diabetes.

Under the new service, providers would partner with doctors, pharmacists, social workers and others to better address the mental and physical health needs of the patient.

The benefit is now available to Medicaid recipients in Butler, Adams, Scioto, Lawrence and Lucas counties. The state's Medicaid director and others planned to discuss the new service Monday in Toledo.

All Ohio's 88 counties are expected to provide the benefit by next year.

The so-called "health home" service is covered under an individual's current Medicaid plan, so there is no charge to the patient. Participation in the program is voluntary.

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