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Coordinating Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Services and Supports in Medicaid

December 2020
Full report

Comprehensive Medicaid managed care offers states the resources and accountability necessary to achieve whole person care for individuals with mental health conditions and/or substance use disorders (MH/SUD). Managed care integrates services across physical healthcare, MH/SUD, and social supports, while promoting recovery and resiliency.

Medicaid is the largest funding source for mental health services in the United States and plays a prominent role in funding services for SUD. Medicaid generally covers more comprehensive benefits than other payers. However, the delivery system is fragmented. Often physical health and MH/SUD needs are treated separately, and benefits and services are administered by different agencies — presenting challenges for individuals and their families as they seek needed services and supports. Increasingly, states are turning to managed care organizations (MCOs) to improve care.

This paper discusses how MCOs work closely with individuals, their families and caregivers, and providers to develop holistic, recovery-oriented plans that address physical health, MH/SUD, and social supports.


  • Understanding the impact of MH/SUD
  • Medicaid’s role serving individuals with MH/SUD
  • Integrating comprehensive health and social services through managed care

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