Earlier this year, Secretary Sylvia Burwell of the US Department of Health and Human Services announced measurable goals and a timeline to move the US health care system “toward paying providers based on the quality, rather than the quantity of care they give patients.”1 In April, Congress passed the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (HR 2) to repeal the sustainable growth rate formula and develop options for alternative, value-based payment models for Medicare.2 These initiatives are in pursuit of the “triple aim” of better health care quality, improved population health, and more affordable health care. Achieving these goals will require a robust set of quality metrics that are especially focused on high-need/high-cost patient populations. The interface of behavioral (including mental health and substance use conditions) and general health care is an especially promising area for leveraging change of the status quo.
Goldman ML, Spaeth-Rublee B, Pincus HA. Quality Indicators for Physical and Behavioral Health Care Integration. JAMA. 2015;314(8):769-770. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.6447