The Finance Policy Division (FPD) focuses on how funding policies and practices can support and sustain effective mental health service delivery systems. To accomplish its mission, FPD facilitates mutual learning and cooperation among state mental health authorities (SMHAs)* to advance behavioral health financing policy and practice; identifies and tracks emerging behavioral health financing issues and areas of interest to help shape NASMHPD activities and priorities; provides feedback to funding sources, such as CMS, on policy development; forges working relationships with stakeholders such as the National Association of Medicaid Directors (NAMD) and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS); and provides or obtains expert advice or technical assistance for NASMHPD divisions and members.
One major focus of FPD is Medicaid, which is now the single largest payer for mental health services in the United States. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) plays a crucial role in providing financial support to state mental health authorities for mental health and substance abuse services through:
- Medicaid state plan options which enable rehabilitative services, case management, inpatient care, substance use treatment and home and community-based services for adults and/or children with mental illness;
- Medicaid waivers, which enable greater flexibility in services and systems of care than allowed under traditional Medicaid and/or enable states to demonstrate better ways to provide Medicaid-funded services; and
- Medicaid and Medicare competitive financing opportunities which enable states and others to demonstrate systemic improvements.
FPD also explores leveraging other funding resources such as Block Grant and demonstration funding available through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
Since many of the issues addressed by the Finance Policy Division are of direct significance to the day-to-day operations of SMHAs, the Division maintains a close working relationship with agency directors and commissioners through its Commissioner Division Advisor and facilitates networking regarding issues that cut across NASMHPD's other divisions.
Finance Policy Division Mission Statement
Support SMHAs in developing sustainable models and strategies to finance effective mental health practices and systems.
Share knowledge of finance issues and opportunities between the Division and NASMHPD to inform NASMHPD’s advocacy on behalf of SMHAs.
SMHAs are diverse and dynamic centers of innovation and knowledge for mental health services and supports. There are common themes but differing administrative and policy environments in which SMHAs operate, which must be respected.
State mental health systems need sufficient, reliable and flexible funding to promote innovation and support evidence-based, recovery-oriented, culturally aware and trauma sensitive systems.
SMHAs need accurate, nonpartisan and timely information on analysis of funding issues, opportunities and strategies to effectively finance and administer mental health systems.
SMHAs benefit from communicating, collaborating, innovating and learning from each other, NASMHPD staff and external funding partners (CMS, SAMHSA, etc.). Partnership can promote better financing practice and policy.
Functions of the Division
Collaborate – promote mutual learning and cooperation among SMHAs and other NASMHPD divisions, as well as with other organizations, such as NAMD, to advance mental health financing policy and practice.
Coordinate – share progress, obtain direction from MH Commissioners via the Division’s Commissioner Advisor.
Define – issues and areas of interest related to financing mental health services to inform NASMHPD activities and priorities.
Analyze – track emerging mental health financing policy and impact on SMHAs to provide feedback and guidance on financing issues, practice and policy.
Communicate - through creation of collaborative documents which express shared vision, issues and/or recommendations (e.g., position papers, policy briefs, etc.) and other means.
Convene – regular and/or ad hoc telephonic meetings with Division, NASMHPD staff and others. Organize annual to biennial face-to-face Division meetings. Meetings define areas of interest, priorities, and share knowledge.
Assist – provide or obtain technical assistance and advice for member SMHAs or other NASMHPD Divisions regarding policy and operational issues related to financing.
Finance Policy Division Resources
NAMD White Paper: Medicaid Forward Behavioral Health, February 2021
Financing Mental Health Crisis Services, August 2020
Suggested Measures for Proposed Medicaid Agency Report Cards (comment letter), February 2018
Coverage of Inpatient Mental Health Transitions as Part of the Continuum of Care (comment letter), January 2018
Crisis Services: Transforming Services is within our Reach (webinar), August 2017
Please contact Christy Malik at firstname.lastname@example.org or (703) 682-5184 with questions or for additional information.
|Vice Chairperson||Wendy White Tiegreen||GA|
Dena Stoner (TX)
NASMHPD Commissioner Division Advisor:
NASMHPD Division Administrators:
Tim Tunner, M.S.W., Ph.D.
Senior Training and Technical Assistance Advisor, NASMHPD
*SMHAs = lead agencies for mental health policy and financing in the 50 states and territories