HHSA Newsroom

What could mental health services look like in 6 years?

Published January 6, 2020


Flexible and integrated medical and mental health systems are key to tackling big, complex health issues that affect California’s most vulnerable people

The California Department of Health Care Services has launched an initiative called CalAIM (California Advancing and Innovating Medi-Cal). It is based on successful care models that link medical, mental and housing needs. CalAIM addresses the root causes of challenging issues, such as homelessness, access to mental health services and the growing senior population.

CalAIM has three primary goals to be reached by 2026:

1.       Broaden the Whole Person Care approach to meet the complex needs of clients.

2.       Make Medi-Cal a more consistent, organized and flexible system of care.

3.       Focus on outcome-based services, updating systems and creating payment reform.

What do the goals mean for mental health and substance use disorder treatments?

·         Mental health and substance use disorder treatments would be fully combined into one managed care program. This makes it possible for people challenged with both mental illness and addiction to gain access to proper treatment.

·         A patient’s eligibility for treatment would be based on the level of life impairment, not solely off diagnosis.

·         Expand treatment options to reduce higher levels of care, like hospitalization.

Get involved! Your input is needed!

CalAIM is seeking the public’s input for the planning and policy development phase. Stakeholder groups will be taking place from November 2019 to February 2020.  Information on how to get involved can be found here and at www.dhcs.ca.gov/calaim.

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