In a May 31 Health Affairs article, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services officials detailed policy plans to strengthen behavioral health care, with a focus on access, equity, quality, and data integration.
The agency’s behavioral health strategy prioritizes:
- improving access to behavioral health care by working with other agencies and encouraging states to advance behavioral health care coverage as part of the Affordable Care Act’s essential health benefits;
- transforming the health care delivery system to integrate behavioral health and primary through Medicare fee-for-service policy and encouraging states to leverage existing flexible options through the Medicaid program;
- bolstering the behavioral health workforce through Medicaid authorities and Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) models;
- improving access to substance use disorder (SUD) services through Section 1115 SUD waivers and CMMI models;
- focusing on the behavioral health needs of children and youth by maximizing school settings as behavioral health care locations within the Medicaid program; and
- improving behavioral health care quality by including behavioral health measures in several quality programs.
Contact Senior Director of Policy Erin O’Malley at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202.585.0127 with questions.