Policy Platform

Five evidence-based reforms can dramatically improve early detection and access to more effective behavioral healthcare. The Path Forward’s goal is implementation of these reforms:

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Improve in-network access to behavioral health specialists

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Expand screening and testing for behavioral conditions

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Expand behavioral health integration in primary care

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Improve tele-behavioral health

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Resolve legacy mental health parity issues

Results to Date

The inclusion of the Collaborate in an Orderly and Cohesive Manner (Collaborative Care) Act, H.R. 5218, in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023, P.L. 117-328, is a testament to the tireless work by the organizations that make up the Path Forward. 

The Collaborate in an Orderly and Cohesive Manner Act, introduced on a bipartisan basis by Reps. Fletcher (D-TX) and Herrera Beutler (R-WA), originally passed with a resounding 402-20 vote in the U.S. House of Representatives. The support and testimony of our partners further reinforced the Senate Finance Committee’s prioritization of the collaborative care model (Collaborative Care).

The Collaborative Care Act provides states and their partners with grant funding opportunities to implement collaborative care in their communities, alongside requirements for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to stand up technical assistance to spur further uptake of the Collaborative Care model nationally.

Current Priorities

  • Secure full appropriations for the Promoting Integration of Primary and Behavioral Health Care Program to help primary care practices efficiently and effectively implement Collaborative Care.
  • Ensure access to tele-behavioral health services.
  • Support the full funding of the grants to support mental health and substance use disorder parity implementation established in the FY23 Omnibus.
  • Continue to support and urge further actions by the U.S. Department of Labor in support of Parity Enforcement and Mental Health Access.