Case Studies

Reforming Colorado’s behavioral health system

Like many states Colorado has historically struggled with a mixture of challenges relating to its public behavioral health system including funding issues, duplicate processes across multiple state systems, and the absence of a cohesive statewide strategy, which has proved increasingly problematic for Coloradans, especially those with complex needs. The state set out to create a system with a coherent vision and strategy that could provide high quality, equitable and accountable care to all Coloradans. 

In 2019, Colorado Governor Jared Polis created a Behavioral Health Taskforce (BHTF) charged with evaluating and setting a roadmap to improve the state’s behavioral health system. The BHTF created a set of more than 200 recommendations that were both structural and programmatic in nature. The most significant structural change was a recommendation to create the Behavioral Health Administration (BHA)—a single accountable entity that would reduce fragmentation across sectors and programs and build a more strategic approach to ultimately improve behavioral health outcomes. 

Download to read the approach and results.

Like many states Colorado has historically struggled with a mixture of challenges relating to its public behavioral health system including funding issues, duplicate processes across multiple state systems, and the absence of a cohesive statewide strategy, which has proved increasingly problematic for Coloradans, especially those with complex needs. The state set out to create a system with a coherent vision and strategy that could provide high quality, equitable and accountable care to all Coloradans. 

In 2019, Colorado Governor Jared Polis created a Behavioral Health Taskforce (BHTF) charged with evaluating and setting a roadmap to improve the state’s behavioral health system. The BHTF created a set of more than 200 recommendations that were both structural and programmatic in nature. The most significant structural change was a recommendation to create the Behavioral Health Administration (BHA)—a single accountable entity that would reduce fragmentation across sectors and programs and build a more strategic approach to ultimately improve behavioral health outcomes. 

Download to read the approach and results.

Download