CMS Outlines Strategy to Strengthen Behavioral Health Care

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) shared our vision to make equitable, high-quality, affordable, data-informed care for mental health and substance use challenges available to the people served by our programs, as outlined in Health Affairs.

CMS recently released a Behavioral Health Strategy that demonstrates the Biden-Harris Administration’s ongoing efforts to support the Strategy to Address Our National Mental Health Crisis and underscores the importance of access, equity, quality, and effective data integration in preventing and treating mental health conditions, substance use disorders and acute and chronic pain.

The CMS Behavioral Health Strategy consists of five bold and interrelated goals:

  • Strengthen equity and quality in behavioral health care;
  • Improve access to substance use disorders prevention, treatment and recovery services;
  • Ensure effective pain treatment and management;
  • Improve access to and quality of mental health care and services; and
  • Utilize data to inform effective actions and measure impact on behavioral health.

The CMS Behavioral Health Strategy seeks to remove barriers to care and services, and to adopt a data-informed approach to evaluate our behavioral health programs and policies. The Strategy will strive to support a person’s whole emotional and mental well-being and promotes person-centered behavioral health care.

This is part of HHS’ ongoing efforts to support President Joe Biden’s whole-of-government strategy to transform mental health services for all Americans—a key part of the President’s Unity Agenda that is reflected in the President’s Fiscal Year 2023 budget. Following the President’s State of the Union in March, Secretary Becerra kicked off the HHS National Tour to Strengthen Mental Health to address the mental health challenges that have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, including substance use, youth mental health, and suicide.

For additional details on the Strategy, please visit the CMS Behavioral Health Strategy page.