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Job Details

Behavioral Intake Counselor




San Diego, California, United States

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. Come make an impact on the communities we serve as we help advance health equity on a global scale. Here, you will find talented peers, comprehensive benefits, a culture guided by diversity and inclusion, career growth opportunities and your life’s best work.SM

The Behavioral Intake Counselor (BIC) is a master’s level, clinical position for the County of San Diego’s 24/7 Access and Crisis Line (ACL) which provides free, confidential access to behavioral health services and crisis intervention for the 3.3 million San Diegans. This clinical position also includes 988 Lifeline calls, chats & texts.

As the clinical work is done strictly on the telephone and computer (chat), this position requires a very unique set of clinical skills more astute than those required for face-to- face interactions as there are no visual cues from which to draw upon in order to help paint a comprehensive clinical picture. Clinicians need to rely on their graduate education in psychology/sociology or related field, formal clinical training, and experience to exercise discretion and clinical judgment when providing access to appropriate behavior health services and crisis work. Clinicians need to quickly triage calls/chats in the queue to ensure safety and meet contractual performance standards. Must be able to work both independently and collaboratively with the high precision and intensity similar to that of an emergency department- everyone has a crucial, time sensitive task to complete which is integral to the success of the entire operations. This is a fast paced, clinically heavy position not for the faint of heart but it’s equally rewarding as one can play a pivotal role in someone’s journey to recovery and literally save lives.

Behavioral Health Access -Mental Health & Substance Use Disorder Treatment Services within the system of care. ACL clinician needs to quickly establish an emotional connection with the individual seeking help, identify their need(s), conduct a behavioral health screening which includes an adapted ASAM screening, recognize and properly follow up on any risk factors, and help provide linkage to the most appropriate type and level of care based on the collective screenings and preferences of the caller/chatter.

Crisis Work- Mental or Emotional Distress; Intimate Partner Abuse; Child/Elder Abuse; Suicide prevention, intervention and postvention etc. This service meets National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (NSPL) standards for risk assessment and engagement of individuals at imminent risk of suicide. ACL clinician needs to quickly establish a therapeutic alliance, seek to help de-escalate the individual using brief solution focused therapy, motivational interviewing skills and Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) to ensure safety using the least invasive intervention up to and including initializing active rescue services. Once de-escalated, clinician will collaboratively work with the individual to explore next steps and treatment options.

Schedule: 10-hour shift to be determined by the hiring manager between the hours of 6 am to Midnight, Pacific Standard Time

Primary Responsibilities:

  • Uphold and model Our Cultural Values
  • Adhere to all applicable laws and ethics (HIPAA, Exceptions to confidentiality, Reporting Abuse, Duty to Warn etc.)
  • Answer calls/chats within standard service levels
  • Apply sound clinical judgement and consult with fellow clinical professionals when indicated
  • Triage calls/chats based on presenting mental health and/or substance use disorder symptoms
  • Conduct appropriate behavioral health screenings, including suicide, homicide (when indicated) and adapted ASAM
  • Provide customized, behavioral health referrals
  • Conduct crisis work and ensure safety
  • Document all interaction in a succinct, clinical manner in the designated database; documentation must adhere to Dept. of Health Clinical Service (DHCS) requirements
  • Access and enter accurate relevant clinical information into Medi-Cal beneficiary electronic health record (EHR)
  • Meet individualized performance goals
  • Participate in the monthly self and peer monitoring process
  • Complete mandatory ongoing continuing education and cultural trainings
  • Problem solves technical issues
  • Elevate operational issues/ concerns to supervisor or manager
  • Performs other duties as assigned

What are the reasons to consider working for UnitedHealth Group? Put it all together – competitive base pay, a full and comprehensive benefit program, performance rewards, and a management team who demonstrates their commitment to your success. Some of our offerings include:

  • Paid Time Off which you start to accrue with your first pay period plus 8 Paid Holidays
  • Medical Plan options along with participation in a Health Spending Account or a Health Saving account
  • Dental, Vision, Life& AD&D Insurance along with Short-term disability and Long-Term Disability coverage
  • 401(k) Savings Plan, Employee Stock Purchase Plan
  • Education Reimbursement
  • Employee Discounts
  • Employee Assistance Program
  • Employee Referral Bonus Program
  • Voluntary Benefits (pet insurance, legal insurance, LTC Insurance, etc.)
  • More information can be downloaded at:

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:

  • Master’s Degree (license not required) or Doctorate within human services such as psychology, sociology OR 3+ years work experience with a license in social work
  • 2+ years post graduate degree experience providing direct clinical services (Including psychosocial assessments, individual therapy, substance use disorder drug/alcohol treatment, case consultation with multidisciplinary team, case management, develop treatment plans with short/long-term goals, maintain confidential files, in-service trainings, and discharge planning.)
  • 2+ years of experience working with diverse multi-ethnic/socioeconomic populations, myriad of psychological disorders and addictions
  • Intermediate level of computer proficiency including MS Word, Excel and Outlook and be able to use multiple web applications
  • Have a “cleared” status if registered with a licensing entity such as the Board of Behavioral Science (i.e., not on probation and no pending corrective actions)
  • Access to a designated quiet workspace in your home (separated from non-workspace areas) with the ability to secure Protected Health Information (PHI)
  • Bilingual Spanish and English
  • Not on San Diego County’s list of individuals previously identified as having a revoked status to San Diego County Electronic Health Record

Preferred Qualifications:

  • 3+ months of experience having the ability to access and enter accurate relevant clinical information into Medi-Cal beneficiary electronic health record (EHR)
  • Community mental health experience
  • Substance use disorder experience
  • Specialty services/certifications (Intimate Partner Abuse, Gambling Addiction etc.)
  • Knowledge of managed care principles or managed care experience preferred
  • Bilingual: Vietnamese, Tagalog, Arabic, Farsi
  • Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST)
  • Call center experience

*All Telecommuters will be required to adhere to UnitedHealth Group’s Telecommuter Policy.

California, Colorado, Nevada, Connecticut, New York City, NY, New Jersey, Rhode Island or Washington Residents Only: The hourly range for California, Colorado, Nevada, Connecticut, New York City, NY, New Jersey, Rhode Island, or Washington residents is $22.45 to $43.89 per hour. Pay is based on several factors including but not limited to education, work experience, certifications, etc. In addition to your salary, UnitedHealth Group offers benefits such as, a comprehensive benefits package, incentive and recognition programs, equity stock purchase and 401k contribution (all benefits are subject to eligibility requirements). No matter where or when you begin a career with UnitedHealth Group, you’ll find a far-reaching choice of benefits and incentives.

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.

#RPO, #Green