Connecting Medicaid Beneficiaries to Social Supports for Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders

December 2016
Full report

The evidence is clear that socioeconomic factors affect health and wellbeing for individuals with mental health conditions and/or substance use disorders. In partnership with states, Medicaid managed care organizations must facilitate access to needed supports and address gaps in housing, job training, and other non-medical services.

Research demonstrates that 50 percent of health outcomes are driven by social and economic factors, including an individual’s physical environment, with another 30 percent driven by health behaviors. For individuals with a mental health condition or substance use disorder the impact of these factors may be more pronounced. For instance, individuals with anxiety or depression may struggle to maintain employment or individuals with a substance use disorder may prioritize their addiction above food or housing.

Medicaid plans have long recognized the value of addressing socioeconomic challenges. They are working to actively engage and link members to care and services, including peer supports, to improve their long-term stability, resiliency, and recovery.

Topics

  • Impact of socioeconomic factors on health outcomes
  • Role of managed care in connecting individuals to social supports
  • Peer supports
  • Housing
  • Education, employment, and vocational services
  • Access to nutrition and healthy foods

Related Public Policy Research

Integration of Physical and Behavioral Health in Medicaid Managed Care
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MCOs are partnering with states to address the fragmentation in the delivery of physical healthcare and MH/SUD services, in order to improve outcomes for beneficiaries and control costs.
Strategies for Effective Sharing of Behavioral Health Information in Medicaid Managed Care
December 2016
Sharing patient data between physical health and mental health and/or substance use providers is necessary for integration of care, but is often hindered by complex laws and regulations.
Value-Based Care Models for Mental Health and Substance Use Services in Medicaid
December 2016
Medicaid MCOs are increasingly adopting value-based care models that incentivize an integrated approach to the identification and treatment of MH/SUD, along with physical health conditions.

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