Patrick Kennedy Highlights Beacon in Remarks on Innovative Payment Models

On Friday, September 8, The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) hosted the Behavioral Health Payment and Care Delivery Innovation Summit. The purpose of the one-day summit was to discuss alternative payment models that improve behavioral health quality and access across the public health delivery system as well cost effectiveness for beneficiaries.

The meeting featured four panel sessions on key issues affecting the behavioral health care delivery system: substance use disorders, co-occurring conditions, dementia, and the critical need for workforce development in the behavioral health field. CMS intends to use the information presented at the summit to help develop and test new payment models that focus on serious mental illness, opioid use disorder, and the use of telehealth to improve access.

Former Congressman Patrick Kennedy (D-R.I.) gave the keynote address, focusing on alternative payment models, our country’s opioid addiction and suicide crises, and enforcing mental health parity. He recommends an alternative payment model that is evidence-based, offers provider incentives, and covers:

  • prevention and early intervention
  • screenings for many conditions
  • expansion of medication-assisted treatment for specialty substance use disorder care
  • care integration
  • quality measures linked to payment and incentives
  • supportive services
  • emerging technologies
  • hospital and provider collaboration

In his written remarks, Kennedy also highlighted Beacon’s approach to improve access to medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for persons with substance use disorder via value-based purchasing arrangements. We are currently expanding MAT and community-based treatment capacity by aligning provider financial incentives with clinical outcomes under our own alternative payment models. Beacon has developed a standardized bundled payment for buprenorphine treatment and an opioid treatment episode bundle.

Patrick Kennedy, a mental health advocate, founded The Kennedy Forum in 2013 to focus on effective behavioral health programming and co-founded One Mind, a global leader in open science collaboration for brain research.