- Individuals without insurance
- Services not covered by Medicaid, Medicare, or private insurance
- Primary prevention
- National performance and outcome evaluation
In addition, SAMHSA will be looking at ways to reach new populations, better conduct needs assessments, develop collaborative information systems, form strategic partnerships, increase the focus on recovery, and emphasize the importance of accountability. The guidelines also streamlined the process so that the substance abuse and mental health grants are more uniform in terms of application, assurance, and reporting.
But what will all this really mean for providers and clients? Is it merely another set of federal hoops to jump through, that will end up diverting funds from the actual provision of needed services. Or is it a real opportunity to expand services to populations that have been historically ignored by Medicaid and Medicare, such as people with severe and persistent mental illness, whose notion of recovery is different from federal guidelines regarding rehabilitation? Also will these guidelines have any meaning at all, if the Affordable Care Act ends up being gutted by the new Congress or if changes in Medicaid to reduce the deficit, give states the option to scale back services and limit eligibility. Only time will tell.