View From the Administrator: Moving Forward
By Pamela S. Hyde, J.D., SAMHSA Administrator
As SAMHSA celebrates its 20th anniversary, it's important not only to acknowledge the amazing progress both SAMHSA and the behavioral health field have made but also look to the future.
One of SAMHSA's first priorities is supporting the development of emotional health and prevention of substance abuse and mental illness. With the Affordable Care Act set to expand access to coverage, the field must prepare to meet greater demand for services as millions more Americans gain health insurance coverage. As the Act is implemented, SAMHSA will be at every possible table to ensure that individuals with behavioral health needs aren't overlooked.
SAMHSA will also continue to offer webinars and other resources to prepare states, territories, tribes, communities, providers, and advocates for new integrated care models and payment mechanisms. As a result of Medicaid's expansion, for example, many providers will need to learn how to do clai ms-based billing for the first time.
SAMHSA will also continue to promote support for individuals in recovery, including getting evidence-based approaches into practice, and assisting states, territories, tribes, counties, and cities as they build recovery-oriented systems of care. SAMHSA will also support them as they integrate recoveryoriented funding and support services into larger funding streams such as block grants, state and local funding, Medicare and Medicaid, and other insurance programs. Plus, SAMHSA has developed a recovery web page to highlight recovery principles and the contributions of those in recovery, www.samhsa.gov/recovery.
No matter what SAMHSA does in the next 20 years, data will be used to guide SAMHSA's decisions and those of other agencies.
SAMHSA is developing a common data platform for grant reporting and a single client-level database for block grant reporting to better measure program and service effectiveness. And SAMHSA will be collaborating more with other agencies. That's already happening. For example, SAMHSA is working with the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) on workforce issues and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on parity issues.
SAMHSA is also creating a Behavioral Health Barometer, an annual snapshot of the nation's behavioral health. With data on key indicators for both individual states and the nation, the barometer will let policymakers, service providers, advocates, and others see where they have made progress and what areas need attention.
I look forward to continuing work towards another 20 years of progress!