CMS unveils new model to improve behavioral health integration

CMS will introduce a new model designed to integrate behavioral and physical healthcare with health-related social needs in Medicare and Medicaid. 

According to a Jan. 18 news release from CMS, the Integrated Behavioral Health model is intended to improve outcomes for adults with moderate or severe behavioral health or substance use conditions. 

The agency will select up to eight states to participate in the model for eight years, according to the news release. Community behavioral health practices, including community mental health centers, public and private practices and opioid treatment programs, will participate in the model. Participants will work with each other in multidisciplinary care teams to bridge gaps between mental and physical health, according to CMS. 

"Through this model, CMS will support behavioral health practices to provide integrated care and help meet people's behavioral and physical health and health-related social needs, like housing, food, and transportation, all of which can negatively impact a person's ability to manage their care," CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure said in the news release. 

Model participants will receive infrastructure payments from CMS for health IT capacity building.

One in 4 Medicare beneficiaries experiences mental illness, and 40% of Medicaid beneficiaries experience mental illness or substance use disorder, according to CMS. 

Read more here. 

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