Mental health and substance use treatment organizations struggle to meet the increase in demand for services, due in large part to a national workforce shortage. This challenge has been exacerbated due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Demand for behavioral health organizations’ services has continued to increase. At the same time, organizations are having trouble recruiting and retaining employees, and patient waitlists continue to grow. Competition for behavioral health workforce has only grown with new opportunities in telehealth and the entrance of private equity into the behavioral health market. The safety net providers are the most impacted and often have the least flexibility to address underlying factors leading to the shortages in large part due to regulation and administrative burden and underfunded payment models.
HMA, in partnership with the National Council for Mental Wellbeing (NatCon), developed a series of issue briefs outlining state policy and provider steps that can help to address the critical shortage.
HMA is also working with NatCon and the College for Behavioral Health Leadership (CBHL) to engage national partners using a collective impact framework to provide backbone support for organizations to work together in a more structured and action-oriented approach and to leverage various implementers (policy, regulatory, payers, providers, educators, etc.) to move recommendations to action.
Behavioral Health Workforce is a National Crisis: Immediate Policy Actions for StatesView Issue Brief
Actions to Address the National Workforce Shortage and Improve CareView Issue Brief
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: Emerging Opportunities for the Behavioral Health WorkforceView Issue Brief
HMA can help state policy makers and provider organizations with workforce support and problem solving, workforce assessment, strategy and policy design.
Our team of experts includes clinicians with on-the-ground experience as well as previous policy makers. We’ve worked within the certified community behavioral health clinic (CCBHC) model and provide technical assistance to organizations planning for its adoption. We have experience in extending it beyond the demonstration utilizing Medicaid state plan amendments (SPA) or 1115 waivers to enhance the workforce.
Identifying effective workforce strategies including training and maximizing of multi-disciplinary teams (e.g., peers, behavioral health providers, nurses, licensed health care providers).
Policy and system design for behavioral health services and workforce expansion
Managed Care Organizations (MCO) strategy and program design as well as strategies to enhance the provider network
Conducting certified community behavioral health clinic (CCBHC) readiness and implementation support.
Maximizing virtual and technology interventions.
Convening stakeholders and building partnerships across sectors.
HMA is positioned to support
State Medicaid agencies
State and local departments of health, public health, behavioral health, and child welfare
Health plans & Managed Care Organizations
Hospitals & health systems
Foundations & advocacy organizations
Certified community behavioral health clinics
School-based behavioral health
Correctional health & juvenile justice systems