Behavioral health is a public policy priority with a significant impact on other policy priorities: access, financial challenges, emergency services, governmental mandates, and workforce. Barriers to timely access and coordinated services include:
System capacity to deliver behavioral health care including community-based levels of care
Sufficiency of the behavioral health care workforce
Integration of behavioral health with primary care
Coordination of care for the mild/moderately ill and seriously ill
Lack clarity on organizational roles and responsibilities resulting in less effective care coordination and timely reimbursement
To support member concerns the Hospital Council will, consistent with Board approved policies:
Implement Behavioral Health Action Plans in counties prioritized through the 2017 Behavioral Health Task Force process.
Advocate for adoption of policies by county mental health departments that improve access and coordination of patient care as well as timely triage, treatment, and transfers from hospital emergency departments to other appropriate care settings. (Also included in Emergency Services advocacy activities)
Convene and advocate at the local level for implementation of recommendations from the CHA Leading the Way initiative as approved by the sections and support CHA’s state advocacy initiatives as requested.
In response to member concerns about challenges to effective behavioral health care services, a member Task Force was convened to produce a report. Its purpose is to enable Hospital Council, its RVPs and members to be more effective conveners and partners and to identify potential collaborative actions to enhance access to care, care coordination and funding for integrated behavioral health services.
The report is intended to provide ideas for local communities/sections to consider. Some communities have already undertaken many of the potential collaborative ideas in the report. We want to support their success. We also want to help the communities we serve work with together to explore other collaborations that may be effective for their patients/residents.
Brian is Regional Vice President of the Hospital Council for the Sacramento-Sierra, Stanislaus-Merced, and San Joaquin-Mother Lode sections. In this capacity, he convenes several health care stakeholder groups to improve issues such as emergency medical services, workforce development, and mental health. He also serves as a member of the San Joaquin County Health Commission. The Commission oversees the Health Plan of San Joaquin, a $1 billion Medi-Cal health plan.
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