Westat to Support SAMHSA to Further Their Leadership Role in Behavioral Health Financing

Westat has been awarded a 5-year contract by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to support the agency and its stakeholders with information and analysis that address changes in the organization and financing of behavioral health care. The work will guide federal officials; states, territories, and tribes; providers; grantees; health systems; and private payers on the most effective and efficient use of resources to meet the prevention, treatment, and recovery support needs of the American public.

Westat has brought together a team, led by Mustafa C. Karakus, Ph.D., a Westat Associate Director for Social Policy and Economics Research and Shoma Ghose, Ph.D., a Senior Study Director for Behavioral Health and Health Policy. The powerhouse team includes the National Council for Mental Wellbeing, the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors (NASMHPD), the National Association of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors (NASADAD), and the NASMHPD Research Institute (NRI). This team will not only provide SAMHSA with continuity from the previous iterations of the Center for Behavioral Health Financing Reform, Improvement and Innovations (CFRI) but also offer new advances, such as access to a broader range of databases, more flexible and powerful analytic tools, ability to merge databases to answer complex questions, and access to the nation’s leading health care finance researchers.

“Our exceptional team and proposed data sources allow SAMHSA and Health and Human Services staff access to an unprecedented volume of data that can be integrated and analyzed to answer important research questions and develop complex projection models to inform health care policy,” notes Patrick Coleman, M.P.A., Westat Vice President and Practice Director for Behavioral Health and Health Policy.

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