Behavioral Health Administrative Service Organization ​Transition  

The Maryland Department of Health is pleased to announce UnitedHealth Group’s health services platform, Optum Maryland, will be the next Administrative Service Organization (ASO) for the Public Behavioral Health System. The contract award begins January 1, 2020. The contract base period is five years (January 1, 2020—December 31, 2024) with a single two-year option which could extend the contract award period through December 31, 2026. 

Optum Maryland performs similar functions to those required by Maryland in other states and has a successful history in provider management, provider maintenance, participant education, authorization and utilization management. Additional functions include participant and provider assistance and communication, provider audits and training, quality management and evaluation, provider and participant appeals and grievances, claims processing and payment, progressive data analytics, reports, and special projects/new initiatives.   

Optum Maryland is working closely with MDH as well as Beacon Health Options, the current ASO, to ensure the transition is successful. The transition process includes transferring authorizations, claims payment processing, participant history, and other information and materials from Beacon Health Options to Optum Maryland.  As Optum opens its Maryland operations, it will execute an aggressive plan to conduct outreach, train providers to use its system. 

Please come back to this page for regular updates.    

Project Updates

Optum has opened registration for provider training webinar sessions. Trainings are specific to provider type. To register for a session, please click here.  

MDH will use this site to introduce changes to the Maryland Public Behavioral Health System (PBHS) and other important information.  Specifically we'll use this site for ongoing Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and to highlight important changes throughout the transition.

Providers will need to pay special attention to highlighted, Provider Actions which will identify what is needed from Providers to ensure a smooth transition to Optum Maryland.

Please direct all questions regarding the ASO transition to: 

ASO Transition FAQs Updated 11/15/2019

Provider Actions

It is essential that once the provider portal is live, that ALL programs/providers REGISTER within the Optum system.  This registration process (not to be confused with the enrollment process)​ will make you “known” to the Optum system as an active provider. Existing authorizations will transfer to Optum, but providers still need to register in Optum to continue their authorizations and to submit claims for payment.  This is also your opportunity to make sure that your primary contact email for your program or office, your enrollment, group affiliation, etc. are up to date.​  

What'​​s New

Optum Maryland Staffing

Chief Executive OfficerScott Green, MBA, MSW

Scott is the former Director of the Montgomery County Maryland Local Behavioral Health Authority and the Deputy Chief of Behavioral Health and Crisis Services.  He has extensive experience on both the mental health and substance use disorder sides of our system, has a background in health care consulting and was an adjunct faculty member at the University of Maryland Graduate school of Social work. 

Chief Medical Officer- Lisa Hadley, MD, JD

Dr. Hadley has extensive experience as a provider of behavioral health services in Maryland, and in management of behavioral healthcare.  She formerly served as Medical Director for the Maryland Behavioral Health Administration and as Maryland State Opioid Treatment Authority. Dr. Hadley is board certified in General Psychiatry and Addiction Medicine. 

Director, Provider RelationsKarl Streinkraus,

Karl is the former Director of Provider Relations for Beacon Health Options Maryland. He has 39 years of health care administration experience in provider relations, provider contracting, member services, claims administration and overall health plan operations.​