Effective coordination of health care services is critical to delivery system reform efforts taking place across the country — particularly in the context of mental health and substance use disorder (SUD) services. With passage of the Drug Medi-Cal Organized Delivery System waiver in 2015, California is on the cutting edge of efforts to ensure access to a full continuum of evidence-based and well-coordinated SUD services. The success of this demonstration rests in part on the ability of counties and their participating plans and providers to manage, share, and coordinate data on behalf of their patients and populations.

Despite barriers to SUD treatment data management and sharing, several counties across California have made great strides in this area. This brief, made possible by Blue Shield of California Foundation, highlights two examples from San Francisco and Santa Clara counties. Lessons from California can inform initiatives in states across the country that are using data to better coordinate behavioral health care delivery.

*Kelly Hunt, MPP, is a senior consultant for complex populations at the Center for Health Care Strategies.