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Behavioral Health Care Advocate Field Based Hattiesburg

UnitedHealth Group
United States, Mississippi, Hattiesburg
September 27, 2023

Optum is a global organization that delivers care, aided by technology to help millions of people live healthier lives. The work you do with our team will directly improve health outcomes by connecting people with the care, pharmacy benefits, data and resources they need to feel their best. Here, you will find a culture guided by diversity and inclusion, talented peers, comprehensive benefits and career development opportunities. Come make an impact on the communities we serve as you help us advance health equity on a global scale. Join us to start Caring. Connecting. Growing together.

The goal of the Behavioral Health Care Advocate (BHA) role is to help individuals live their lives to the fullest by promoting recovery and resiliency via coordination and collaboration with multiple internal and external partners including consumers and their families/caregivers, medical, behavioral health and clinical network teams. Behavioral Health Advocates work with complex and high-risk needs with a goal of engaging the consumer in the treatment process, decreasing their reliance on higher levels of care, helping them to access appropriate community services, and assisting them in improving community tenure.

This is a field-based position in the Foreset County, MS area. Due to business needs, residency in the following counties is preferred: Lamar and Forrest Counties. Approximately 50% of the week is spent in the community meeting in-person with members in and around Forrest County, MS. The remaining 50% is spent working remotely from home. The schedule is Monday - Friday, 8 am to 5 pm

If you are reside near Hattiesburg, MS, you will have the flexibility to work remotely* as you take on some tough challenges.

Primary Responsibilities:



  • Utilize advanced clinical skills to engage and motivate Consumers via a recovery, health and wellness-oriented approach
  • Assist consumers and their families/caregivers with connections to appropriate psychiatric, medical, and psychosocial referrals and services
  • Identify and remove barriers to procurement, delivery, participation in and success of services
  • Provide supportive follow-up, monitoring and education as indicated, in-person and telephonically
  • Meet with consumers in-person at facilities, provider offices, and in homes as appropriate
  • Partner with designated external providers, programs, entities to address the needs, gaps in care, and recovery goals of complex and high risk consumers
  • Identify and address the needs of members who are consistently high utilizers of services through case conferences and informal communications
  • Participate in standing meetings to review performance, identify areas of opportunity, and oversee course for improvements (Supervision)
  • Establish and foster positive relationships with medical team, participate in medical-behavioral integration activities and discussions
  • Identify high-risk, co-morbid needs of consumers
  • Accept referrals via designated processes, collaborate in evaluating available services, and coordinate necessary psychiatric and community referrals, as needed
  • Contribute to treatment plan discussions; routinely attend clinical rounds and other meetings with medical partner or external entities, when applicable
  • Meet all contractual requirements; collaborate early and frequently with other teams in the management of cases stratified as having intensive, complex, and high-risk needs
  • Comply with all policies, procedures and documentation standards in appropriate systems, tracking mechanisms and databases
  • Establish a cooperative relationship with Optum Behavioral Network Services and the Provider community in order to improve access to services and ensure that consumers are served within proper standards of care
  • Collaborate with providers to determine acuity of mental health concerns, barriers and progress; coordinate appropriate services


You'll be rewarded and recognized for your performance in an environment that will challenge you and give you clear direction on what it takes to succeed in your role as well as provide development for other roles you may be interested in.

Required Qualifications:



  • Licensed Master's degree in Psychology, Social Work, Counseling or Marriage or Family Counseling, or Licensed Ph.D., or an RN with 2 or more years of experience in behavioral health
  • An active, unrestricted license to practice independently in the State of Mississippi:


    • Licensed Psychologist (LP)
    • Licensed Certified Social Worker (LCSW)
    • Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW)
    • Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT)
    • Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC)


  • Licenses must be active, independent, and unrestricted in state of residence
  • 2+ years of experience in a related mental health setting
  • Computer / typing proficiency to enter / retrieve data in electronic clinical records; experience with email, internet research, use of online calendars and other software applications
  • Access to high speed internet from home
  • Reliable transportation and the ability to travel as needed within the designated service delivery area (up to 50%)


Preferred Qualifications:



  • Experience in an inpatient setting
  • Dual diagnosis experience with mental health and substance abuse
  • Experience in a community mental health setting
  • Experience working in an environment that required coordination of benefits and utilization of multiple groups and resources for patients
  • Experience in a managed care environment
  • Experience with the Medicaid/Medicare population
  • Bilingual skills (fluency in Spanish/English)


*All employees working remotely will be required to adhere to UnitedHealth Group's Telecommuter Policy

At UnitedHealth Group, our mission is to help people live healthier lives and make the health system work better for everyone. We believe everyone-of every race, gender, sexuality, age, location and income-deserves the opportunity to live their healthiest life. Today, however, there are still far too many barriers to good health which are disproportionately experienced by people of color, historically marginalized groups and those with lower incomes. We are committed to mitigating our impact on the environment and enabling and delivering equitable care that addresses health disparities and improves health outcomes - an enterprise priority reflected in our mission.

Diversity creates a healthier atmosphere: UnitedHealth Group is an Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, protected veteran status, disability status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, genetic information, or any other characteristic protected by law.

UnitedHealth Group is a drug-free workplace. Candidates are required to pass a drug test before beginning employment.

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