Admissions

Patient admission and re-admission is on a first-come, first-serve basis and eligibility is determined using the following criteria:

  • A referral from the patient’s Primary Care Physician (PCP);
  • A measurable deficit in one or more areas;
  • A diagnosable condition which requires treatment;
  • Other specific criteria as determined by payer and regulatory sources; and
  • Staff recommendations for services/treatment.

Your child may qualify for full-time or part-time day treatment or outpatient services depending upon the results of his/her evaluations. Patient eligibility and enrollment decisions are made jointly by the Clinic Director, Admissions Coordinator, and Clinical Services Coordinator, with input from other staff members. The Clinic Director retains the right to make all final decisions. Oversight is provided by the clinic’s Chief Operating Officer, the Director of Clinical Services, and/or the Chief Executive Officer.

During the evaluation/enrollment process, your child will be evaluated by members of our treatment team to determine whether he/she is eligible for our program. Full-time enrollment typically requires qualifying in two or more treatment areas. These treatment areas include, but are not limited to, the following:

Behavioral

RSPMI (Rehabilitative Services for Persons with Mental Illness): An Arkansas Medicaid program which requires providers of this service to offer core mental health services for the treatment and prevention of mental disorders.

  • Children with a serious emotional disturbance (SED) that are ages birth to 18 who currently or at any time during the past year have had a diagnosable mental, behavioral, or emotional disorder of a duration specified within the DSM and this disorder results in functional impairment which substantially interferes with or limits the child’s role or functioning in family, school, or community activities. The provider must be certified as an RSPMI provider by the AR DHS Division of Mental Behavioral Services. Ascent CHS clinics are considered RSPMI providers.
  • Adults with a serious mental illness (SMI) that are ages 18 years old and over who currently or at any time during the past year have had a diagnosable mental, behavioral, or emotional disorder of a duration specified within the DSM and this disorder resulted in functional impairment which substantially interferes with or limits one or more major life areas.

Admission to RSPMI services is limited to children who can reasonably be expected to benefit from the program. Admission must include an assessment, completed by a Mental Health Professional (MHP), which is substantiated by criteria for a disorder from the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders). Diagnosis that may qualify include, but are not limited to, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Disruptive Behavior Disorders, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Mood Disorders (including Bipolar disorder and Depression.), Adjustment Disorders, and Anxiety Disorders. You must also be willing to actively participate throughout the duration of treatment.

Exclusionary criteria for patients who require more intensive services are referred to a more appropriate level of care. Any patient meeting one or more of the following criteria may be excluded from RSPMI services from Ascent:

  • Patient is actively engaged in behaviors that are dangerous to self or others.
  • Patient is actively suicidal, homicidal, or psychotic.
  • Patient has IQ below 70 and the MHP has determined that he/she is incapable of benefiting from RSPMI services.
  • Patient requires need for residential placement and/or in patient hospitalization.
  • Patient is judged to be non-amenable to treatment.

In the event a patient is deemed to require more intensive services than Ascent CHS can provide, the Mental Health Professional and the Clinical Services Coordinator will facilitate referral and linkage to appropriate services within the community. If exclusion is deemed necessary, Ascent will inform the parent/guardian of the need for a referral to a more appropriate level of care.

Developmental/Medical

CHMS (Child Health Management Services): An Arkansas Medicaid program which requires providers of this service to offer an array of clinic services intended to provide full medical multi-disciplinary diagnoses, evaluations, and treatments for the purpose of intervention, treatment, and prevention of long term disability for eligible recipients aged birth-21.

Admission to CHMS services is limited to children who can reasonably be expected to benefit from the program. Admission must include the patient being between ages birth to six years of age who presents a significant medical and/or developmental diagnosis with multiple/complex symptoms including, but not limited to frequent nursing services, close physician monitoring, special nutritional services, constant coordination of care within a interdisciplinary team, family involvement for education and support, and therapy services from one or more disciplines as determined by standardized testing (Speech, Occupational, Physical, and Psychological/Developmental). However, Ascent CHS may provide CHMS services to children outside of this age range on a case-by-case basis.

In the event your child is deemed to require more intensive services than Ascent CHS can provide, the Clinical Services Coordinator and/or MHP will facilitate referral and linkage to appropriate services within the community.

Waiting lists are not generally maintained at Ascent clinics due to the adequate space in each clinic. If a waiting list is necessary due to the clinic operating at full capacity, these lists will be maintained by each clinic’s Admissions Coordinator. The clinic will maintain frequent contact with you to keep you updated on your child’s admission status. A child will be enrolled from a waiting list based on the date of their referral, as well as the capacity of specific treatment rooms. Staff are available to assist with referrals to other providers in the community if you do not want to be placed on the waiting list.

Referral Process

In order for your child to receive day treatment services, his/her Primary Care Physician (PCP) must provide the clinic with a written referral prior to enrollment. Your child’s PCP may require an office visit prior to signing the referral. This referral must be renewed every six months in order for services to continue. The clinic must also obtain a current prescription from the PCP for each therapy service that your child receives (Occupational, Physical and Speech Therapy and Behavioral Health services). Children who receive one or more of these therapy services will receive periodic re-evaluations to determine whether continued services are needed. Children under the age of two must be evaluated at least every six months and children two years and older must be evaluated at least annually. Evaluations may be completed more often as determined necessary.