AURORA, Colo. – The Eugene S. Farley, Jr. Health Policy Center at the University of Colorado School of Medicine has been awarded a $1 million grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to establish a technical assistance program for designing policies that help integrate behavioral health across healthcare.
During the next 15 months, the Farley Health Policy Center will create communications products, such as videos and policy briefs; establish a network of technical assistance providers; and assess outreach efforts that are aimed at helping policy makers and providers, payers and philanthropies transition to practices that integrate behavioral health.
“States, health plans, and other stakeholders are seeking the latest evidence on how best to integrate health care,” says Benjamin Miller, PsyD, Director of the Eugene S. Farley, Jr. Health Policy Center and Associate Professor of Family Medicine at the CU School of Medicine.
“This award sets us up to leverage existing partnerships and resources in service to advancing mental health, behavioral health, and substance use nationally,” Miller says. “We have the opportunity to do something unprecedented – to tackle decades of policy, system, and community level fragmentation. People have suffered too long – it’s time for change.”
Miller and the Farley Health Policy Center will develop technical assistance capacity, align with other partners that have demonstrated strength in this area, develop communications tools, and work to deliver sustainable solutions to integrate care.
Building on a previous initiative, Creating a Culture of Whole Health, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation that outlined ways to better integrate behavioral health into the health care system, the Farley Health Policy Center aims to develop a plan that can expand to communities seeking assistance with policy and payment strategies. The ultimate goal is providing behavioral health on an equitable basis.
“We must take advantage of this unique moment in health care to advance integration nationally; the health policy landscape is ready for change” Miller says. “We hope that through this grant, the Farley Health Policy Center can create the capacity to be the entity with content expertise and vast network to help transform policy to achieve integration through thoughtful resource curation, creation, and dissemination.”