Commentary & Reports Archive


TIP 57: Trauma Informed Care in Behavioral Health Services (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2014)

Assists behavioral health professionals in understanding the impact and consequences for those who experience trauma. Discusses patient assessment, treatment planning strategies that support recovery, and building a trauma-informed care workforce.

Coalition for Whole Health Toolkit on Benefits, Parity, and Network Adequacy (Coalition for Whole Health, 2013)

In August, 2013, the Coalition for Whole Health released a toolkit to provide state-level advocates with the materials they need to advocate for strong implementation and oversight of the ACA’s essential health benefits, parity, and network adequacy protections in their state.

Mental health and addiction workforce development: Federal leadership is needed to address the growing crisis.  (Health Affairs, 32 (11), 2005-2012, 2013. Authored by The Annapolis Coalition on the Behavioral Health Workforce)

In a commentary for Health Affairs, Michael Hoge and coauthors summarize the substantial and growing body of evidence that the current mental health and substance abuse workforce is seriously inadequate with regard to number of practitioners, lack of diversity in its composition and overall preparation. The authors recognize that, with a growing number of older and ethnically diverse Americans who are at high risk for behavioral health disorders, combined with the sheer influx of newly insured, the system is at a point of crisis. They call on the Federal government to scale up and actually implement already identified “broad strategies and specific actions necessary” to grow and strengthen the mental health and substance abuse workforce to meet the challenges it faces now and in the future.

Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (2008, Final Rule issued November 8, 2013)

The Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 (MHPAEA) is a federal law that generally prevents group health plans and health insurance issuers that provide mental health or substance use disorder (MH/SUD) benefits from imposing less favorable benefit limitations on those benefits than on medical/surgical benefits. MHPAEA originally applied to group health plans and group health insurance coverage and was amended by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, as amended by the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (collectively referred to as the “Affordable Care Act”) to also apply to individual health insurance coverage. HHS has jurisdiction over public sector group health plans (referred to as “non-federal governmental plans”), while the Departments of Labor and the Treasury have jurisdiction over private group health plans.

New Health Age:  The Future of Health Care in America (David Houle, 2011)

We live in a transformational time in the history of medicine and health care. The 21st century will be a time of dramatic change, incredible breakthroughs, and totally altered thinking about health, medicine, and health care delivery. This book sets forth what health care and medicine will look like in the years ahead. It takes a look at history, the transformational changes going on today, the health of Americans, the nine dynamic flows that are shaping health care in the United States, and definitions and descriptions of the new institutions of the future landscape of health care and medicine.

Improving the Quality of Health Care for Mental Health and Substance-Use Conditions: Quality Chasm Series (Institute of Medicine, 2005)

Millions of Americans today receive health care for mental or substance-use problems and illnesses. These conditions are the leading cause of combined disability and death of women and the second highest of men. Effective treatments exist and continually improve. However, deficiencies in care delivery prevent many from receiving appropriate treatments. That situation has serious consequences. A previous IOM report, Crossing the Quality Chasm: A New Health System for the 21st Century (2001), put forth a strategy for improving health care overall. However, health care for mental and substance-use conditions has a number of distinctive characteristics. This report examines those differences, finds that the Quality Chasm framework is applicable to health care for mental and substance-use conditions, and describes a multifaceted and comprehensive strategy to do so. The strategy addresses issues pertaining to health care for both mental and substance-use conditions and the essential role that health care for both plays in improving overall health and health care. In doing so it details the actions required to achieve those ends-actions required of clinicians; health care organizations; health plans; purchasers; state, local, and federal governments; and all parties involved in health care for mental and substance-use conditions.