Innovation into Practice: The Future is Now

Innovators and experienced providers are joining together to build the infrastructure required to meet the needs of people living with co-occurring mental health conditions and substance use disorders, as well as physical health care conditions. They are facilitating networks to address social determinants of health and collect data to measure quality and cost-effectiveness in a value-based payment (VBP) system, where providers are paid for outcomes instead of volume.

With New York State’s behavioral health care system transforming into value-based arrangements, success requires not only a full understanding of its complexities, but the ability to revamp business operations and improve the integration of behavioral health and physical health care services. Many leading-edge providers are also confronting this daunting task.

On February 1, 2018, The Coalition for Behavioral Health will bring together over 300 individuals – comprising mental health and substance use experts from community-based providers, government officials, consumers, advocates and members of the business community – for our 2018 annual conference, entitled “Innovation into Practice: The Future Is Now.” Experience transformation in progress with observations on behavioral health VBP readiness and Governor Cuomo’s FY2019 Executive Budget from OMH Commissioner Dr. Ann Sullivan, OASAS Commissioner Arlene Gonzalez-Sanchez and NYS Medicaid Director Jason Helgerson; and New York City’s perspective from DOHMH Executive Deputy Commissioner, Dr. Gary Belkin.

The conference will feature viewpoints from participants of The Coalition’s business transformation grant, funded by the New York Community Trust (NYCT). Through this unique initiative, The Coalition is leading a project to assist our members in adapting their clinical practices and business operations to a value-based payment environment in which there is a strong hospital presence. By holding larger forums and smaller workgroups, the business transformation initiative provided collaborative space for the sharing of candid conversations around organizational needs and challenges. Participants can interact with leaders from other community-based organizations facing similar challenges and can be linked with expert consultants and mentorship opportunities.

This year’s conference is a chance to hear from a panel of experienced providers that are examining their own business operations and strategic planning as they seek guidance through a changing environment. Each of these organizations has a story to tell, and we invite you to hear how they face transformational challenges, conduct difficult conversations with their Board and executive leadership, to choose a path forward.

In addition, we will spotlight provider groups taking on value-based arrangements, including VBP innovators, Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) and Independent Practice Associations (IPAs). This is an opportunity to listen and apply their learnings to your own organization or collaborative provider group entering into VBP arrangements, such as the emerging Behavioral Health Care Collaboratives (BHCCs).

BHCCs are networks of providers joining together to deliver the entire spectrum of behavioral health services available regionally. Recently, Governor Cuomo announced $60 million in funding awards to assist 19 selected BHCCs from across the state. Among the variety of healthcare improvement innovations possible, BHCC funding can be applied to enhancing quality of care through the assimilation of clinical, financial and community-based recovery supports; using data to manage quality and risk and commit to continuous quality and performance improvement; and building information technology infrastructures to collect, analyze and respond to data for the purposes of improving behavioral and physical health outcomes more efficiently (NYS, DOH, OMH, OASAS, Behavioral Health VBP Readiness Program Overview, 2017).

Given the health care discussions occurring on both the federal and state levels, and a political climate where Medicaid funding is at-risk, it has never been more critical for providers to become nimbler and to acquire the tools to deliver high-quality care more efficiently to people living with mental health conditions, substance use disorders and significant physical health needs. However, achieving this goal requires the successful implementation of operational and fiscal changes, and collaborating with other partners to fully integrate services.

Behavioral health providers should become aware of all the VBP arrangements developing in their community. The Coalition’s conference is an exciting opportunity for providers to join in the conversation about ongoing and emerging efforts, as they consider embarking on their own readiness endeavors. Hopefully, providers operating in collaborative networks will be able to leverage their shared expertise and be in a better position to negotiate value-based payment contracts.

Integrated care is pivotal to treating co-occurring disorders, but it is only part of a greater undertaking happening among the innovators of the behavioral health community. The future really is now, as providers join to form collaborations to meet the complex needs of people living with behavioral health conditions.

I look forward to seeing you on February 1st. Please visit for full conference details.

Have a Comment?