New behavioral health dashboard launched

Published 6:27 pm Wednesday, July 27, 2022

The Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services (DMAS) recently announced the launch of a new behavioral health dashboard that tracks how Medicaid members use services for mental illness and developmental disabilities.

The Behavioral Health Utilization and Expenditures dashboard includes a high-level demographic profile of Medicaid members receiving behavioral health services, a breakdown by locality of the number of Medicaid members receiving those services and the total cost, and yearly trends in behavioral health expenditures.

“This dashboard provides engaging and informative visualizations that demonstrate the important work of the Medicaid agency, managed care health plans, and providers to support our members with behavioral health needs,” said Virginia Secretary of Health and Human Resources John Littel. “We are excited to bring greater transparency to this effort for members, providers, taxpayers and other stakeholders.”

The project is a joint initiative by the DMAS Behavioral Health Division and the agency’s Office of Data Analytics. Available on the Medicaid agency website, the dashboard helps to promote understanding of who accesses behavioral health treatment, what services are in greatest demand, and whether there are differences in utilization across regions and communities.

“We are committed to being good stewards of the resources dedicated to the Medicaid program as we provide essential services to our members,” said Acting DMAS Director Cheryl Roberts. “This dashboard offers data-driven evidence of Medicaid’s efforts to provide behavioral health services across the Commonwealth.”

The dashboard supports Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s behavioral health goals by creating a data platform to generate discussion and identify opportunities for collaboration with stakeholders on innovations that can increase access to high-quality services.

Virginia Medicaid launched nine new behavioral health services in 2021 designed to strengthen crisis response, increase access to community-based care and address a national emergency in children’s mental health care. The new services are part of a multi-phase initiative to improve the quality of behavioral health care in the Commonwealth and reduce strain on state psychiatric facilities

The Virginia DMAS plays an essential role in the Commonwealth’s health care system by providing lifesaving medical coverage to one in five Virginians. For more information, visit www.dmas.virginia.gov.