REPORT: Investing in Social Services for States' Health: Identifying and Overcoming the Barriers

May 20, 2016

More and more attention is being paid to the social determinants of health—the conditions in which people are born, grow, work, live, and age, including factors such as income support, education, transportation, and housing—and their contribution to health and well-being. Despite all the evidence about how the factors affecting our health dwarf the impact of the health care we receive, it remains a challenge for state leaders to act. Why don’t state budgets reflect what we know about improving the health of populations? What are examples where, in spite of the barriers, these challenges are being overcome?

This report, written by Elizabeth Bradley, faculty director of the Yale Global Health Leadership Institute, and Erika Rogan, attempts to answer these questions. Based on focused discussions with state and local public health sector leaders, the report identifies the root causes for states not making overall budget and policy decisions that optimize their population’s health.

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REPORT: Evolving Models of Behavioral Health Integration: Evidence Update 2010-2015

May 12, 2016

Behavioral health integration (BHI), the integration of primary care and behavioral health through the collaborative care management model, remains an approach to treatment that appears to improve the health outcomes for people with mental and medical disorders. Since 2010, when the Milbank Memorial Fund published its first BHI report, “Evolving Models of Behavioral Health Integration in Primary Care,” the field has advanced conceptually, and there has been a proliferation of research. This new report provides an updated scan of the literature over a five-year period (2010 to 2015), identifying changes and remaining gaps in the evidence. It also identifies resources to assist policymakers and health care planners in selecting, implementing, and sustaining BHI models.

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Milbank Quarterly Early View Op-Ed: John E. McDonough on Behind the Bipartisan Kumbaya on Opioids and Drug Abuse

April 26, 2016

For several years, Republicans and Democrats alike have been concerned about the crisis of opioid and heroin addiction in the United States. It is hard to find anyone who rejects the notion of a serious problem that demands at least a partial governmental response. Across the nation, governors and legislatures are hard at work seeking solutions and avoiding partisan bickering.  Numerous current and former presidential candidates in the 2016 campaign cycle got favorable attention explaining how the crisis has affected their families and friends in personal ways.

The question is whether there is any meaningful difference between Republicans and Democrats when it comes to substance abuse (and, for that matter, behavioral health—the merger of substance abuse and mental health)? In this Early View Op-Ed, John McDonough says that answer is yes and the difference comes down to the Affordable Care Act.

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