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Improving the Quality of Health Care for Mental and Substance-Use Conditions
DHHS should fund demonstration programs to offer incentives for the transition of multiple primary care and M/SU practices along this continuum of coordination models.
Purchasers should modify policies and practices that preclude paying for evidence-based screening, treatment, and coordination of M/SU care and require (with patients’ knowledge and consent) all health care organizations with which they contract to ensure appropriate sharing of clinical information essential for coordination of care with other providers treating their patients.
Organizations that accredit mental, substance-use, or primary health care organizations should use accrediting practices that assess, for all providers, the use of evidence-based approaches to coordinating mental, substance-use, and primary health care.
Federal and state governments should revise laws, regulations, and administrative practices that create inappropriate barriers to the communication of information between providers of health care for mental and substance-use conditions and between those providers and providers of general care.
Recommendation 5-3. To ensure the health of persons for whom they are responsible, M/SU providers should:
Coordinate their services with those of other human services and education agencies, such as schools, housing and vocational rehabilitation agencies, and providers of services for older adults.
Establish referral arrangements for needed services.
Providers of services to high-risk populations—such as child welfare agencies, criminal and juvenile justice agencies, and long-term care facilities for older adults—should use valid, age-appropriate, and culturally appropriate techniques to screen all entrants into their systems to detect M/SU problems and illnesses.
Recommendation 5-4. To provide leadership in coordination, DHHS should create a high-level, continuing entity reporting directly to the secretary to improve collaboration and coordination across its mental, substance-use, and general health care agencies, including the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration; the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; and the Administration for Children, Youth, and Families. DHHS also should implement performance measures to monitor its progress toward achieving internal interagency collaboration and publicly report its performance on these measures annually. State governments should create analogous linkages across state agencies.