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Maryland DataLink Initiative

Project Brief

In 2006, the Behavioral Health Administration (BHA), the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services (DPSCS) and the State’s Core Service Agencies developed and implemented a data sharing initiative, known as DataLink, to promote the continuity of treatment for individuals with serious mental illness who are detained in the detention center.

Process Overview

Optum Maryland, the Administrative Services organization for the Behavioral Health Administration (BHA), receives a daily file from the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services (DPSCS) of all individuals that have been:

  •  detained and processed at local detention centers in the past 24-hour period;
  •  incarcerated in one of the State correctional facilities; or
  •  remanded to the Department of Parole and Probation.

This data is compared against Medicaid eligibility data, utilizing agreed upon data points to identify a detainee as a “match”. Once a match is identified, the process looks for mental health authorizations and paid Medicaid pharmacy claims within the past calendar year. This information is then electronically returned to the DPSCS and uploaded into their Electronic Health Record system where it can be viewed by authorized detention center medical staff. Detention center medical staff utilizes this data to address the detainees medical and mental health needs. Simultaneously, the data is also shared with the local Core Service Agency who may assist in providing coordinated care for the individual while detained and upon release.