78% of Hospital CEOs Say Lack of Appropriate Facilities Is an Issue for Behavioral Health, SUD Care

Hospital executives cite the lack of appropriate facilities and a shortage of funding as the top behavioral health and substance use disorder (SUD) issues their organizations face.

That’s according to a new report from the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE), which included responses from 281 hospital CEOs across the country.

The ACHE is a professional organization for health care executives. It has more than 48,000 members and 76 chapters.


Overall, behavioral health and addiction issues were the third largest area of concern for the hundreds of CEOs surveyed.

Specifically, 78% of CEOs said that the lack of appropriate facilities and programs in the community was an issue for behavioral health and SUD care. Additionally, 77% said that the lack of funding in the space was an issue.

Both points were cited as major areas of concern in 2021 and 2022 as well.

Photo credit: American College of Healthcare Executives

Insufficient reimbursement for behavioral health and SUD was another top concern, with 70% of CEOs reporting that it was an issue. And more than half (51%) said that the high volume of opioid addiction and related conditions were an issue for their organization.

Across health care, staffing challenges were the biggest concern, according to the survey. Ninety percent of CEOs said the shortage of registered nurses was a challenge. The second biggest challenge that hospital CEOs were also concerned with was financial challenges.

“Hospitals need to take both long- and short-term measures to address critical workforce issues so they can continue to provide safe, high-quality care now and in the future,” Deborah J. Bowen, president and CEO of ACHE, said in a statement. “Longer-term solutions include strengthening the workforce pipeline through creative partnerships, such as those with colleges to grow the number of nurses and technicians. More immediate solutions include supporting and developing all staff, building staff resilience, organizing services to reflect the realities of the labor market and exploring alternative models of care.”

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, massive staffing shortages have plagued the behavioral health industry.
In fact, 53% of behavioral health insiders said staffing is the No.1 challenge the behavioral health industry will face in 2023, according to a new survey by Behavioral Health Business.

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