Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute

Leaders from the Meadows Institute and the Commonwealth Fund appeared at the U. S. Capitol Visitor Center for a congressional briefing on the Collaborative Care Model (CoCM). The briefing was supported by U. S. Reps. Lizzie Fletcher (D-TX) and August Pfluger (R-TX).

The briefing covered a new Meadows Institute report, produced with financial support from the Commonwealth Fund, “Improving Behavioral Health Care for Youth Through Collaborative Care Expansion.”

The report notes, “[S]ustainable reimbursement is critical to provide adoption of new services and models. Since Medicaid insures almost half of all children in the U.S., it plays an essential role in making CoCM accessible for children and youth in pediatric and primary care settings. While Medicare and many commercial plans already reimburse for CoCM, previous research shows that less than half of states reimburse for the CoCM. Even in states that include CoCM as a mandated benefit in Medicaid, rates are often low and many states’ benefit coverage is inconsistent with Medicare.”

The report adds that, while Medicaid reimbursement is critical for adoption of CoCM, it is not sufficient. It examines case studies of CoCM implementation in four states and makes recommendations for solving barriers to implementation of CoCM.

At the congressional briefing, Meadows Institute chief operating officer Melissa Rowan recommended two key solutions to facilitate CoCM adoption: (1) sustainable reimbursement rates for primary-care providers in all states, and (2) funding to offset implementation costs to practices.