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Partners for Recovery: Providing Policy and Technical Resources to the Behavioral Health Field in Support of the ACA

Partners for Recovery (PFR), an effort of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), offers technical support and information to those who deliver services to people with substance use and co-occurring mental health conditions.

PFR, for which Abt Associates has been the technical coordinator since 2003, aims to formulate and disseminate policies, practices, and standards to strengthen the behavioral health system, and promote integration of behavioral health and primary care through service coordination using health information technology (HIT).

PFR activities specific to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) include:

  • Developed a paper on the impact of health reform for justice-involved populations, including practical steps for successful implementation of health reform to reduce crime, recidivism, and criminal justice expenditures while promoting healthier and safer communities;
  • Developed multiple webinar trainings on the ACA and parity. This six-part series included information on the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act, the fundamentals of Health Homes and Accountable Care Organizations, and the prevention provisions of the Affordable Care Act.
  • Developed fact sheets for 50 states, Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico detailing ACA enrollment and health insurance exchange activities; conducted trainings and coaching calls and developed resource materials to assist behavioral health providers sustain services and expand under the ACA;
  • Developed two reports on states’ progress in implementing recovery-oriented systems of care (ROSC) and the impact of health reform on these systems; conducted a case study of Vermont’s successful health system reforms to inform other states of strategies;
  • Developed a four-part webinar on confidentiality, substance use treatment, and HIT and delivered it to the state substance abuse and mental health agencies, addiction treatment providers, and SAMHSA staff.
  • Developed frequently asked questions on the Substance Abuse Confidentiality Regulations, 42 CFR, Part 2 and Substance Abuse Treatment in the context of Health Information Exchanges; and
  • Conducted a study to better understand the current views of stakeholders in the behavioral health field on privacy and confidentiality issues in the context of health reform and expanded use of HIT.
North America