Data-Driven Approaches Improve Behavioral Health Equity, Aid Payer Negotiations

Racial and ethnic minority groups are 20% to 50% less likely to initiate mental health services and are 40% to 80% more likely to drop out of treatment prematurely.  Some behavioral health providers are seeking to improve these statistics by catering their services specifically to people of color, marginalized individuals and Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries. […]

New Bill Would Mandate Free Mental, Substance Use Care for Perinatal People

Behavioral health-related issues, including suicide deaths and drug overdoses, are the leading cause of pregnancy-related deaths in the U.S., accounting for over 22% of these losses. A new piece of legislation is on the table to help mitigate these statistics. The legislation, called “the Mental Health and Making Access More Affordable (MAMA) Act,” would require […]

The Collaborative Care Model Could Help Reduce the Total Cost of Patient Care

The collaborative care model (CoCM), which integrates physical and behavioral health services, may help reduce the total cost of patient care. That’s according to a new report from the Bowman Family Foundation, which zeroed in on research published by University of Washington (IMPACT) and the University of Pennsylvania/Independence Blue Cross (Penn/IBC) and Kaiser Permanente. “While […]

Peer Support Specialists Drive Value as Behavioral Health Providers Embrace New Workforce

Peer support services are rapidly gaining mainstream acceptance thanks to recent federal initiatives, new reimbursement opportunities and the fallout from the opioid crisis. Peers have a unique ability to drive sustained patient engagement, industry insiders said at Behavioral Health Business’ VALUE conference. This makes the peer support model cost-effective for providers looking to shift away […]

Elevance Health Boosts Behavioral Health Biz with $740M State Contracts

Elevance Health Inc. (NYSE: ELV) is placing a “large focus” on its behavioral health business, inking two massive state contracts worth up to $740 million in Q1 of 2024. Carelon, Elevance’s health care services arm, is off to a “strong start” this year, buoyed by major behavioral health contracts with the states of Maryland and […]

Bill Proposes Enabling Same-Day Access to Physical and Mental Health Care for Kids on Medicaid

Lawmakers have introduced a new bill to Congress that would enable children with Medicaid to access physical and behavioral health care appointments on the same day. Dubbed the Improving CARE for Youth Act, the bill aims to improve access to behavioral health services for pediatric patients.  Congressman Dr. Neal Dunn (R-FL) and Congresswoman Angie Craig […]

Only 8% of Medicaid and 4% of Medicare Enrollees Received Behavioral Health Services

New government findings add details to the lack of availability of behavioral health services for America’s poor and elderly.  The Office of Inspector General (OIG) for the U.S. Health and Human Services Department found that about one-third of behavioral health providers in selected counties serve patients in the Medicare, Medicare Advantage, or Medicaid programs. “Despite […]

Expanding Access to Virtual Behavioral Care: Navigating State and Federal Regulations

2024 could prove pivotal for virtual behavioral health as the federal government considers making COVID-era telehealth flexibilities permanent.  Federal and state regulations can heavily influence the availability of behavioral telehealth appointments. For behavioral health providers who provide care to Medicaid beneficiaries, or who prescribe controlled substances for conditions like substance use disorders (SUDs), regulations can […]

Congress Tries Again to Increase Medicaid Spending for Behavioral Health

Federal lawmakers are taking another stab at increasing funding for behavioral health expenditures in the Medicaid program. A version of the Medicaid Bump Act was introduced in the U.S. Senate and Congress on March 12. The bill would create financial incentives for states to elevate spending on behavioral health beyond levels in 2019. Specifically, it […]

Dispelling Medicaid Myths and Removing Barriers for Value-Based Behavioral Health Care

State Medicaid programs and their managed care organization (MCO) partners are amenable to value-based care contracting. However, misconceptions remain as the industry navigates the early stages of value-based care adoption. This openness allows companies to come to the table with new or different approaches to contracting, opening the door to escaping the fee-for-service paradigm. “The […]