The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) has provided long-standing support to innovations aimed at improving services for vulnerable populations. Under the Foundation’s directive of public services for individuals with substance use disorders and/or mental health issues, the Cross-Systems Financing Project focused on a subset of individuals with complex, often unmet, needs.
Far more than the fiscal tool the name implies, cross-systems financing plans represent strategic, interagency collaborations. They create efficient and efficacious models of care, utilizing federal, state and community-based financial and human resources, and provide the most vulnerable populations with evidence-based, continuous support.
This report recounts the experience, findings and recommendations of a learning community convened by RWJF under the direction of the Avisa Group and John O’Brien, senior associate of the Technical Assistance Collaborative, consisting of six state and county jurisdictions that focused on cross-systems funding for addiction and mental health services. The Cross-Systems Financing Project helped states and stakeholders think more broadly, come together, and take advantage of a large variety of resources, ultimately allowing them to be more resourceful and get more from each dollar they spent.
This report presents an overview and key features of a Cross-Systems Financing Project’s development, and describes the specific projects developed and progress made by each of the six sites. The report is intended to provide health care leaders, senior program directors and policy-makers with a process framework, pragmatic examples, lessons learned, and a compendium of resources to support unique initiatives in the field of cross-systems finance.
Key features of a successful Cross-Systems Financing Project include:
- identification of key opinion leaders and stakeholders;
- creation of a working collaborative/steering committee;
- alignment of goals across agencies and departments;
- identification of existing and new funding sources/resources;
- implementation testing;
- evaluation of metrics of success;
- plans for sustainability.