Smoky Mountain Now Named Vaya Health

Published Wednesday, October 5, 2016 at 11:14 am

WNC managed healthcare organization Smoky Mountain MCO now operating as Vaya Health 

October 4, 2016  – Smoky Mountain MCO, which manages public funds for mental health, substance use and intellectual/ developmental disability services in 23 western North Carolina counties, today announced the organization will now operate under the name Vaya Health (Vaya).

The new name reflects the organization’s expansion and evolving mission over the past four decades. Originally serving the state’s seven westernmost counties, Vaya now operates in counties as far to the east as Rutherford, Alexander and Wilkes. The name Vaya, a variation on a Spanish verb meaning “to go,” was inspired by our commitment to help members and their families move forward to a place of healing, recovery and hope.

The new organization name does not affect healthcare services, supports or programs in any way. Vaya members will see no changes in their benefit plans, provider options or other services due to the new name. Vaya’s 24-hour, toll-free Access to Services and crisis line remains available to the general public at 1-800-849-6127.

images-2Vaya has also launched a new, enhanced website at www.vayahealth.com. The site makes it simple for local residents to learn about publicly funded services that may be available to them for behavioral health and intellectual or developmental disability needs. It also includes an easy-to-use provider search function, a calendar of upcoming events throughout the region and expanded information on local programs and community partnerships.

Vaya will continue to implement the organization’s Community and Capital Reinvestment Initiatives Plan, an effort to utilize $10 million saved through effective Medicaid management to launch new or expanded programs. Initiatives include creating regional crisis facilities in Buncombe, Caldwell and Wilkes counties, as well as expanding the Balsam Center in Haywood County. Other programs are designed to reduce heroin/opioid drug use and overdose deaths, expand addiction recovery housing and work toward integrating physical and behavioral health services under a “whole-person care” model. Additional reinvestment activities include enhancing veterans’ services, helping individuals leaving institutions access legal services and expanding crisis services for people with intellectual/developmental disabilities and their families.

For more information, call 1-888-757-5726 or visit www.vayahealth.com.

About Vaya Health
Vaya Health manages public funds for mental health, substance use disorder and intellectual or developmental disability services in 23 North Carolina counties: Alexander, Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Buncombe, Caldwell, Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Macon, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Polk, Rutherford, Swain, Transylvania, Watauga, Wilkes and Yancey. Access to services and crisis help are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-849-6127. Learn more at www.vayahealth.com

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