Message from the President/CEO

Melanie Brown-Woofter

We are facing a crisis – demand for behavioral health services has increased, capacity has decreased and resources are diminishing. Fortunately, behavioral health services are gaining recognition an essential component of health care. The increased media attention on behavioral health, fueled largely by the opioid crisis, has led the public to begin to understand the relationship between addiction and mental health, and between mental health and physical health, both of which are having a beneficial effect on our industry. Hidden in this crisis is an opportunity.

The demand for services is fiscally evident - increased funding from SAMHSA for opioid addiction and mental health treatment in the form of federal grants, private equity firms investing $2.89B over the last year in clinics that provide detox, residential care outpatient services and methadone treatment, and increased Medicaid spend on mental health and substance use treatment services all indicate market forces are in play. These private firm investments may not increase access for Medicaid funded clients, but may increase access to services overall. Opportunity is fueled by demand.

Blueprints, frameworks, models of integration, buzzwords yet a means to move our industry ahead utilizing an approach that is sustainable and beneficial to the individuals we serve. Blueprints have a variety of components, for us, value based purchasing, the integration of behavioral health and physical health, and clearly defining meaningful outcomes. What do we need to succeed? A thoughtful out-of-the box approach to treating behavioral health brain disorders. Reimbursement models that adequately cover the cost of services and ensure cash flow. Data analytics that accurately demonstrate outcomes. A workforce culture steeped in quality service delivery. The value of innovation has not been more apparent to our treatment space, and the ingenuity and extraordinarily resourcefulness of our membership has positioned us to embrace this opportunity.

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