• Lonnie Granier

Report released on transforming mental health system

An important new study has been recently released, How to Transform the U.S. Mental Health System, sponsored by Otsuka America Pharmaceutical, Inc., and prepared by RAND Health Care, a Division of the prestigious RAND Corporation, a nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization. As you know, the healthcare industry has endeavored for decades to reduce the stigma of serious mental illness (SMI) and improve the treatment of mental health conditions in the U.S. And, while progress has been made, a clear pathway to transforming the continuum of care remains elusive. About the Report Researchers broadly examined the mental health system including the institutions and resources that support the delivery of mental health services. They also looked at social determinants that contribute to mental illness such as housing/homelessness, incarceration, unemployment, and education. Based on these insights, RAND developed specific recommendations to impact three critical areas: 1: Promote Pathways to Care - Promoting comprehensive mental health education in K-12 settings, integrating behavioral health expertise into general health care settings, linking homeless individuals with mental illness to supportive housing, and developing a mental health diversion strategy centered on community behavioral health. 2: Improve Access to Care - Strengthening mental health parity regulation and enforcement, reimbursing evidence-based behavioral health treatments at their true cost, establishing an evidence-based mental health crisis response system, and expanding access to digital and telehealth services for mental health. 3: Establish an Evidence-Based Continuum of Care - Defining and institutionalizing a continuum of care in states and communities, launching a national care coordination initiative, and forming a learning collaborative for Medicaid behavioral health financing. Read more

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