Feb, 03, 2015

Supporting Behavioral Health Integration

One of the goals of our State Health and Value Strategies (SHVS) program is helping states enhance quality and value in their health care systems.

Recently, more and more Medicaid programs are coming to the conclusion that bridging the gap between physical and behavioral services is key to improving outcomes for beneficiaries and reducing costs for taxpayers. But it’s not easy—numerous barriers can impede coordination and integration.

Indeed, the work of providing, facilitating, and overseeing health care typically spans multiple state agencies, which have different cultures, different ways of engaging providers, and different ways of paying for services. Physical health care and behavioral health care are prime examples of such traditionally disconnected areas.

In December, SHVS sponsored a workshop of eight states, convened by the National Association of Medicaid Directors (NAMD), to discuss solutions to these challenges. Attendees from numerous agencies shared the successes they’ve achieved in their states in measuring quality, sharing data, and ensuring that beneficiaries have access to high-quality care. More information is available in the workshop summary.

SHVS is pleased to partner with NAMD and looks forward to supporting future work in this important area.