Opportunities exist for state Medicaid programs to implement managed care strategies that center equity in mental healthcare and improve mental health for adults.
A fragmented and underfunded mental health system, paired with the combined impact of structural racism, produces disparities in access to mental health services across the entire United States.
Most states contract with Medicaid managed care entities (MCEs) to administer services to enrollees. As such, Medicaid programs are uniquely positioned to promote greater equity in mental healthcare, as the program plays an outsized role in the financing and delivery of mental healthcare.
States can leverage authorities to offer a more flexible and broader set of mental healthcare services or require coverage of specific provider types.
Medicaid managed care programs can facilitate access to clinical and non-clinical mental healthcare services, integrate mental healthcare in primary care settings, and promote a racially and ethnically diverse mental healthcare workforce.
These strategies highlight opportunities Medicaid programs have to leverage their purchasing, payment, and delivery system reform strategies within managed care to improve health and promote health equity.
About State Health and Value Strategies
State Health and Value Strategies (SHVS) assists states in their efforts to transform health and healthcare by providing targeted technical assistance to state officials and agencies. The program is a grantee of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, led by staff at Princeton University’s School of Public and International Affairs. The program connects states with experts and peers to undertake healthcare transformation initiatives. By engaging state officials, the program provides lessons learned, highlights successful strategies, and brings together states with experts in the field. Learn more at www.shvs.org.
Stable, affordable health coverage for people in the U.S. is the starting point to improving health outcomes and building a Culture of Health. In the U.S. nearly 90 million people rely on Medicaid for health coverage.