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Welcome to the Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual Disabilities Services

Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services

Behavioral Health Special Initiative

The BHSI Program functions as a managed care organization authorizing each patient’s care according to clinical/medical necessity (based on the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) Criteria) and referring them to a network of licensed drug and alcohol treatment providers across the region.

In addition to ongoing coordination with the Office of Addiction Services, the BHSI program works with the other components of the City’s Department of Behavioral Health/MRS: Community Behavioral Health and the Office of Mental Health. This allows the program to better meet the needs of clients whose funding eligibility fluctuates between medical assistance and non-medical assistance status as well as clients who have co-occurring disorders (mental health and subtance use disorders).

Staff of this program is composed of dedicated individuals with significant clinical background and knowledge of substance abuse, mental health and health care issues as well as other staff with expertise in billing and computer skills. BHSI is not an entitlement program and has guidelines for treatment.

PMHCC provides critical administrative support to the BHSI Program through its fiscal component, information and human resources management and a variety of other managerial elements.

User Agreement
Significant Incident Report

Providers must report all reportable Significant Incidents following a centralized two-step process:

  1. Report the incident by telephone to the assigned BHSI Service Manager or Service Manager’s supervisor within 24 hours of the incident or upon notification of the incident’s occurrence.
  2. NEW! A copy of all reportable incidents must be emailed to BHSI.quality@phila.gov or uploaded to the BHSI Quality Provider Portal. You must have an active user name and password to access.Please do not include Protected Health Information (PHI) in the subject line of the submitted documents

Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health Significant Incident Report Form

Approvals and Authorizations
PA Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs
Treatment Services Descriptions
Behavioral Health Special Initiative Provider Manuals
General Information

Provider Hotline – information about claims and website support.

Cost Reimbursement Enhanced Recovery

The OAS has set deadlines for the submission of utilization and the final expense reports for agencies receiving OAS funds for support Cost Reimbursement services. The deadline information can be found here.

New! BHSI Billing for Fiscal Year 2019 and 2020

NEW! Secure FTP (SFTP) Request Forms – Page 1 | Page 2

NEW! BHSI June 2019 Claims Adjudication Information Sessions

NEW! MAT Provision to BHSI Individuals Fiscal Year 2019

Authorization to Release Provider Notice

Significant Incident Report Update Provider Notice

BHSI POLICY ALERT – ICD-10 Diagnosis Code Requirements

Provider Notice 14-01– Deadlines for claims for all services except Cost Reimbursement.

Provider Notice 16-02 – FY 17 BHSI Provider Agreements

Provider Notice 16- – Fiscal Updates

Provider Notice 15-01 – Deadlines for all Treatment and Recovery Based Services

Other Resources

NIATx – Removing barriers to treatment and recovery.

Selected Papers of William White – Senior research consultant Chestnut Health Systems.

N.A.R.R. – National Association of Recovery Residences.

NDCI – National Drug Court Institute.

NADCP – National Association for Drug Court Professionals.

NIDA – National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Addiction Treatment Forum – Reports on substance abuse news of interest to opioid treatment programs.

AATOD – American Association for the Treatment of Opioid Dependence.

Recovery in Philadelphia
The William White Papers interviews:

William L. White is an Emeritus senior research consultant at Chestnut Health Systems/Lighthouse Institute and past-chair of the board of Recovery Communities United.  He has been working with the Philadelphia’s Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services in bringing a recovery-oriented system of care to the city.


Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services Home Page

Faces and Voices of Recovery mobilizes those in recovery — along with their families, friends and allies — to recovery community organizations and networks.

People seeking or in long-term recovery, their families and loved ones have a growing number of mutual-aid groups to choose to participate in. Faces and Voices of Recovery offer the Guide to Mutual Aid Resources to assist people in finding resources.

Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services Network of Care directory.

Pennsylvania Recovery Organization-Achieving Community Together (PRO-ACT) is a grassroots advocacy and recovery support initiative of The Council covering Southeastern Pennsylvania.


The mission of the Behavioral Health Special Initiative (BHSI) Program is to provide assessments, referrals and funding support for persons who are uninsured or underinsured with substance abuse problems and who can access licensed treatment programs. Under the umbrella title of BHSI, the program manages several state and local funding allocations, the largest of which is the Behavioral Health Special Initiative. Programmatically, BHSI operates under the auspices of the City’s Office of Addiction Services (OAS), a component of the Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services through a contract with PMHCC.

Other Activities

BHSI works closely with the Forensic Intensive Recovery Program and other criminal justice initiatives serving individuals within that system. BHSI staff provides clinical evaluations for forensic clients, identifies community-based treatment sites, and pays for the treatment of those individuals who were mandated by the court to attend treatment in lieu of incarceration.

‍The Office of Addiction Services is also embedded and housed at BHSI that offer non-drug treatment services which support clients while they’re receiving formal treatment in order to address a broad array of needs. The coordination of treatment and core services helps clients maximize their rehabilitation and recovery process.

All Addiction Services-funded outpatient, intensive outpatient, partial hospitalization programs can access core services for clients participating in their treatment program. Core services are also available to criminal justice clients in residential programs, and OAS-funded recovery houses and the Philadelphia Recovery Community Center. These identified services include:

  • Domestic violence counseling-victim perpetrator
  • Life skills
  • GED
  • Literacy/education
  • Parenting skills training
  • Nutrition
  • Anger management
  • Wellness works
  • Therapeutic recreation and housing
  • Credit and financial services