Before Guilford County opened up its Behavioral Health Center (BHC) on Third Street in Greensboro in 2021– with Cone Health as the mental health service provider for children, adolescents and adults – there was a whole lot of tough back and forth on those contract negotiations.

So, it’s not surprising that, after a few years of the center’s operation, the two entities are working out the kinks and altering that contract. Guilford County and the giant healthcare provider have now established new contract terms, which were recently signed off on by the Guilford County Board of Commissioners and are effective immediately.

According to a staff memo to the commissioners, county staff and Cone staff had “identified some points in the current agreement and lease that, if amended, will help improve operations of and client experience at the BHC and across the broader behavioral healthcare system in the County.”

 The existing agreements were signed in October 2019 for a five-year term that started in the summer of 2021 when the center opened.

These new terms will be adopted as amendments to the current contract.

 One item is a change in security: adding “Clarifying language around the definitions of ‘internal’ security, provided by Cone and reimbursed by the County, and ‘external security’ provided by County Security Department staff. In addition, adding a specific requirement that Cone’s and the County’s security officers are expected to assist one another upon the request of the other party’s officers.”

It’s not clear if there have been incidences in the past where one security team refused to help another.

Another change involves snow removal.

Right now, Guilford  County conducts snow removal but the county doesn’t have the capacity to maintain a 24-hour operation at the center. Under the new terms, going forward, Cone will be responsible for either removing snow at the facility night and day, or arranging for it to be done.  Guilford County will then reimburse Cone for the cost.

The two entities also added a new Data Use Agreement amendment that calls for the sharing of data regarding services Cone provides at the BHC. This will give Guilford County the ability “to access data from the operations at the Behavioral Health Center in a manner compliant with Cone data security and HIPAA requirements and a format useable by the County for its analysis needs.”