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Assessing the Financial Outlook of Milwaukee County's Behavioral Health Division

The Public Policy Forum has partnered with Community Advocates’ Public Policy Institute in a project designed to advise Milwaukee County’s Behavioral Health Division (BHD) on ways to strategically prepare for implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). That project was launched in April 2012 with the financial support of BHD and the Milwaukee County Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).

The purpose of this paper is not to critique BHD’s fiscal management, but instead to objectively analyze its financial challenges and opportunities so that Milwaukee County budget officials and policymakers – as well as the dozens of public and private sector individuals who are devoting their time to the county’s mental health redesign process – will have an independent fiscal assessment with which to consider programmatic changes moving forward.