The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) recently addressed this question in its September/October 2010 SAMHSA News Newsletter. A Health Home is another term for a provider or team of health care professionals who are selected by an eligible individual to follow that individual’s care.
Health homes are accountable for managing and coordinating services that the person receives from multiple providers, promoting good health, helping with the transition from one setting to another and providing support and referrals to both the individual and family members. The introduction of health homes may prove extremely beneficial for individuals with mental health and substance use disorders as they tend to have multifaceted and long standing needs with several providers involved in their care.
The new provisions included in the Affordable Care Act will allow Medicaid to reimburse providers for time spent on coordination of interdisciplinary care. The states may begin offering a health homes option in January of 2011. The legislation requires that those interested in a health homes option must submit a proposal to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid services (CMS) and consult with SAMHSA on the behavioral health components of their proposals. Click here for more information on healthcare reform and health homes.