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State Approaches for Integrating Behavioral Health into Medicaid Accountable Care Organizations

November 16, 2015 Print ShareThis
This information is provided through HUD's Healthcare and Housing (H²) Technical Assistance (TA) initiative. Sign up for 'ACA' in the HUD Exchange Mailing List to receive future H² TA announcements.


Many high-need, high-cost Medicaid patients have mental health and substance use issues and are often not well served in the current health care system. Integrating behavioral health services within Medicaid accountable care organizations (ACOs) may help states to improve quality of care and generate savings from avoidable utilization of inpatient and emergency services.

This technical assistance tool, developed by the Center for Health Care Strategies through support from The Commonwealth Fund, examines four broad strategies states can use to integrate behavioral health services into ACOs:

  1. Incorporating behavioral health into payment models.
  2. Requiring ACOs to report on behavioral health metrics.
  3. Encouraging ACOs to include behavioral health providers.
  4. Providing integration supports.

The tool explores how eight states have incorporated these strategies into their ACO approaches.

Learn more about it.

HUD’s Healthcare and Housing (H2) Systems Integration Initiative, announced in October 2014, is intended to assist communities with the systems changes needed to enhance integration of subsidized housing and health care services in order to maximize care coverage and increase access to comprehensive health care for people experiencing homelessness, as well as low-income persons living with HIV/AIDS. To deliver this assistance, HUD is holding direct on-site action planning sessions around the country, where provider representatives from homeless Continuum of Care (CoC), Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) and Housing Opportunities for Persons With AIDS (HOPWA) programs and service networks come together with local and state representatives from medical and behavioral healthcare systems to create an action plan. The sessions and action plans focus on improving access to and effective utilization of health care services for the targeted populations through better coordination and system integration. Expert facilitators and subject matter experts coordinate and staff these sessions, and provide pre- and post-event support.

For information on the action planning sessions that have already occurred, including overviews of the emerging action plans, please visit HUD’s Healthcare and Housing (H2) Systems Integration Initiative website.