Evaluating the HCIA: Behavioral Health/Substance Abuse Awards: Third Annual Report
The 10 projects in this group had some common goals—for example, training staff to coordinate care and using health information technology (IT) to monitor care—but the approaches to achieving them varied widely. They also focused on different subgroups within the broad priority population, such as individuals with schizophrenia or with serious mental illness and a chronic physical condition. The awardees implemented their programs in settings that ranged from primary care practices and mental health clinics to a campus serving the homeless population. The number of participants enrolled in these projects also varied widely, depending on the awardees’ specific objectives and recruitment strategies. Half the awardees met their enrollment goals; for three, enrollment levels were substantially less than originally planned. Findings from rigorous, multifaceted evaluations of these programs should help policymakers and program administrators identify promising approaches to delivering care that could be replicated, expanded, or studied in more depth. Understanding the implementation and impacts of these interventions is important; individuals with mental health and substance use disorders are among the most vulnerable Medicare, Medicaid, and CHIP beneficiaries, and their care is often expensive. They must be part of any enduring solution to improving healthcare and lowering costs.