TABLE 9-5 Recommendations for Federal Policy Makers

Overarching Recommendation 1. Health care for general, mental, and substance-use problems and illnesses must be delivered with an understanding of the inherent interactions between the mind/brain and the rest of the body.

Rule 5. Evidence-based decision making—Patients should receive care based on the best available scientific knowledge. Care should not vary illogically from clinician to clinician or from place to place.

Rule 8. Anticipation of needs—The health system should anticipate patient needs, rather than simply reacting to events.

Recommendation 4-1. To better build and disseminate the evidence base, the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) should strengthen, coordinate, and consolidate the synthesis and dissemination of evidence on effective M/SU treatments and services by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration; the National Institute of Mental Health; the National Institute on Drug Abuse; the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism; the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development; the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; the Department of Justice; the Department of Veterans Affairs; the Department of Defense; the Department of Education; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services; the Administration for Children, Youth, and Families; states; professional associations; and other private-sector entities.

Aim of effectiveness—providing services based on scientific knowledge to all who could benefit and refraining from providing services to those not likely to benefit (avoiding underuse and overuse, respectively).

Rule 5. Evidence-based decision making (see above).

To implement this recommendation, DHHS should charge or create one or more entities to:

  • Describe and categorize available M/SU preventive, diagnostic, and therapeutic interventions (including screening, diagnostic, and symptom-monitoring tools) and develop individual procedure codes and definitions for these interventions and tools for their use in administrative datasets approved under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.


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