Medicaid health homes were created by the Affordable Care Act to improve care for Medicaid enrollees with complex behavioral and physical health needs. Health homes that target behavioral health mainly focus on care coordination, case management, and transition services.
This study used national data to demonstrate that in the 16 states that adopted health homes, there was a greater likelihood that Medicaid enrollees with serious mental illness (SMI) and/or substance use disorders (SUD) received mental health care and/or SUD treatment. Medicaid enrollees in states with health homes reported better general health, though they did not experience overall improvements in chronic conditions. As Medicaid enrollees tend to have higher rates of SMI and SUD and are less likely to receive appropriate care compared to privately insured or Medicare populations, health homes may help to improve access to and quality of care.