Funder: The Commonwealth Fund

February 10, 2015 | Webinar

Date: Tuesday, February 10, 2015 1:00-2:30 pm

Medicaid accountable care organizations (ACOs) offer the potential to improve health care quality and control rising costs, particularly for complex, high-need beneficiaries. Given the prevalence of behavioral health conditions and the related cost implications among the Medicaid population, coordinating behavioral health services within Medicaid ACOs may help states to improve quality of care and generate savings from avoidable utilization.   

This 90-minute webinar, made possible by The Commonwealth Fund, explored strategies to guide state Medicaid agencies in successfully integrating behavioral health services within ACOs. The discussion included on-the-ground perspectives from the Vermont ACO Medicaid Shared Savings Program Pilot and Minnesota’s Integrated Health Partnerships demonstration to inform states and providers in developing their ACO programs.


I. Introduction and National Overview of Medicaid ACO Activity

Speakers: Deborah Brown Kozick, Senior Program Officer, CHCS; Pamela Riley, MD, Assistant Vice President, Delivery System Reform, The Commonwealth Fund

Deborah Kozick welcomed participants and Pamela Riley of The Commonwealth Fund discussed the trend among Medicaid ACO programs to promote the integration of behavioral health providers to improve quality of care and lower costs. Ms. Kozick summarized how states are approaching behavioral health integration in Medicaid ACO models and highlighted key considerations for integration.

II. Promoting Shared Accountability with Behavioral Health Providers: Lessons from Vermont

Speaker: Kara Suter, Director of Payment Reform, Department of Vermont Health Access

Kara Suter shared Vermont’s efforts to promote the integration of behavioral health services within its Medicaid ACOs and discussed considerations for identifying relevant measures and payment models to help further integration efforts.

III. Behavioral Health Integration Efforts Among Minnesota’s Integrated Health Partnerships

Speakers: Mathew Spaan, Policy Specialist, Minnesota Department of Human Services; Mary Fischer, Executive Director, Southern Prairie Community Care

Mat Spaan provided a brief overview of behavioral health integration efforts among Minnesota’s Integrated Health Partnerships (IHPs), the state’s Medicaid ACOs.  Mary Fischer discussed Southern Prairie’s efforts to integrate primary care and behavioral health services across a network of 12 rural counties.

IV. Discussion:  Key Considerations for Medicaid ACO Program Development

Moderator: Deborah Brown Kozick, CHCS

Deborah Kozick moderated a discussion among presenters and participants around shared accountability with behavioral health providers and states’ progress with integration within Medicaid ACO models.