Bitter pill: State
 snubs GJ provider 
for health contract

Officials in western Colorado and other parts of the state are deciding whether to protest a state agency’s award of a $17 million contract for mental-health services to an Oregon-based company.

The Office of Behavioral Health awarded the contract Thursday to Colorado Crisis LLC.

“We are grievously disappointed,” said Chriss Flynn, spokeswoman for Mind Springs Health, which put together a consortium of existing providers to submit a bid to the state.

Officials with the Office of Behavioral Health said they couldn’t comment pending the completion of a seven-day protest period for the bid award.

Mind Springs, formerly known as Colorado West Mental Health, operates West Springs Hospital in Grand Junction, a psychiatric-care hospital. It had organized several existing nonprofit groups and other entities to bid for the western Colorado portion of the bid. The Office of Behavioral Health divided the state into quarters for purposes of the bidding.

“We’re not convinced the state took into account the proper assessment of existing relationships and infrastructure” in awarding the bid to Colorado Crisis LLC, Flynn said.

Other concerns surround the provision of behavioral-health services outside the metro areas, Flynn said.

Mind Springs offers an array of behavioral-health services, including some included in the request for proposals issued by the Office of Behavioral Health.

“It’s not our core business,” Flynn said, “but it’s part of our continuum of services, for sure.”

The state agency sought providers for hotline and “warmline” services, mobile crisis response, crisis respite and other services related to mental-health crisis care.

Officials with Colorado Crisis LLC didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

The group’s website said two of its participants operate five national call centers that answer more than 12 million calls a year and that one of the participants, Behavioral Health Link, conducted more than 35,000 mobile crisis contacts in urban and rural areas and regularly deals with law enforcement, child-welfare and other agencies.

Another participant, Recovery Innovations, operates recovery response centers in Arizona, Delaware, Washington and North Carolina, the site says.


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