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Beyond Parity: Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Care Under Payment and Delivery System Reform
  • Forum held on October 26, 2011

As Massachusetts implements provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and debates delivery system and payment reform within the Commonwealth, this Forum aimed to critically examine how these major policy initiatives impacted care for individuals with mental health and addiction disorders. Reforms hold the promise of improving the quality of care and the well-being of individuals with mental health and addiction treatment needs in Massachusetts. Yet, critical questions remain about how to effectively transform systems of care in the state to best meet the prevention, treatment and recovery needs of this population.  At the Forum, we heard recommendations on how to move into the next phase of health reform in Massachusetts with the goal of improving mental health and addiction care, as well as best practices from experts around the country and reactions from state leaders in this field. Speakers included: Honorable Steven Walsh, Chair, Joint Committee on Health Care Financing; Barbara Leadholm, Commissioner, Massachusetts Department of Mental Health; Colleen Barry, Associate Professor, Department of Health Policy and Management, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health; Michael Botticelli, Director, Department of Public Health Bureau of Substance Abuse Services; Daniel Fisher, Executive Director, National Empowerment Center; Colleen Labelle, Program Director and Faculty, Boston University School of Medicine; Paul Mendis, Chief Medical Officer, Neighborhood Health Plan. Richard Frank, Margaret T. Morris Professor of Health Economics, Department of Health Care Policy, Harvard Medical School moderated. This forum was co-sponsored by the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation and the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health.  

Issue brief available at: http://bluecrossfoundation.org/Policy-and-Research/Convening/Beyond-Parity.aspx