MENTAL HEALTH & SUBSTANCE USE
The Mental Health Parity & Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA) of 2008 helps end the unequitable provision of mental health & substance use benefits compared to general health benefits. NCCBH summary of temporary regulations put in place on July 1, 2010.
Mental Health & Substance Use
Research and practice in the field have demonstrated that treatment is effective and people can and do recover from mental and substance use disorders. Further, attending to an individual's behavioral health service needs can improve health status and reduce the costs associated with care.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is the federal agency charged with fostering behavioral health systems transformation through implementation of the New Freedom Commission on Mental Health's recommendations outlined in the 2003 report, Achieving the Promise: Transforming Mental Health Care in America. These recommendations build on the findings in Mental Health: A Report of the Surgeon General, and are strengthened by the 2005 Institute of Medicine (IOM) report, Improving the Quality of Health Care for Mental & Substance-Use Conditions.
The SAMHSA brief, Description of a Modern Addictions & Mental Health Service System, outlines a vision for mental health and substance use service systems as providing a continuum of effective treatment services and supports that include employment, housing, and integrated health care. Improving the quality and delivery of behavioral health services supports SAMHSA's Strategic Initiatives, and is furthered by national health reform, and efforts to ensure parity for mental health and addictions treatment, as well as compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Olmstead.
While a myriad of public and private resources are used to finance behavioral health services in the U.S., Medicaid is currently the largest fund source. State Medicaid programs across the country are undertaking significant changes to their service delivery and payment systems as a result of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Major initiatives underway in many states are likely to impact behavioral health care including moves to managed care from fee-for-service systems, expansion of Medicaid eligibility, and efforts to better coordinate physical and behavioral health care for people with chronic conditions. SAMHSA has indicated to state mental health and substance use authorities the need to think differently about how resources are allocated as a result of health reform by making changes to SAMHSA's Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment and Community Mental Health Block Grant application process. SAMHSA's changes to its block grant application outline specific priorities for states' use of block grant funds to focus on persons and services not covered by Medicaid.
TAC Resources on Mental Health & Substance Use:
Other Mental Health & Substance Use Resources: